The PGA Tour has suspended all current and future players who have decided to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series which kicked off on Thursday. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has sent a letter to members stating that those who join the lucrative breakaway series will not be permitted to play on the US Tour as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category.
Players who have previously joined LIV Golf include Phil Mickelson, who has six major championships among his 45 PGA Tour victories, and former world number one Dustin Johnson. “These players made their choice for their own financial reasons. But they cannot demand the same PGA Tour membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform that you do,” Monahan said in the letter to PGA members. Round. “This expectation disrespects you, our fans and our partners. You have made a different choice, which is to abide by the tournament rules that you agreed to when you achieved the dream of winning a PGA Tour card and – more importantly – to compete under the preeminent organization in the world of professional golf.”
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The PGA Tour and DP World Tour had both refused requests from members who had requested releases to compete at the Centurion Club this week outside London where $25 million is up for grabs, including $4 million for the winner. The PGA Tour’s decision sparked a swift and scathing response from LIV Golf. “Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and deepens the rift between the Tour and its members,” LIV Golf said in a statement.
“It is troubling that the Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity that is keeping golfers from playing. The era of free agency begins as we are proud to have a full group of players joining us in London and beyond.”
The decision by the PGA Tour, which does not operate golf’s four major tournaments, came after the United States Golf Association said it would allow LIV golfers who compete in the US Open next week if exempted. or if they had already qualified.
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Post expires at 3:31pm on Sunday June 19th, 2022