LIV Golf: The PGA Tour officially suspends golfers participating in the first event

“As you know, players listed below did not receive the required conflicting events and media rights releases – or did not apply for releases at all – and their participation in the Saudi Golf League / LIV Golf event is in violation of our tournament rules,” said Monahan in a note.

“The same fate applies to all other players participating in future Saudi Golf League events in violation of our rules.”

Players who have resigned will be removed from the FedEx Cup points list when the RBC Canadian Open results are announced on Sunday.

The 17 golfers listed, including former major winners Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, will not be allowed to play in PGA Tour tournaments as non-members through sponsorship exemptions or other qualification categories, the note reiterated.

Mickelson, who had previously qualified for the PGA Tour all his life, said Wednesday that he had no plans to quit the Tour, as he had earned the right to participate since he has “a lifetime membership that he has earned and worked hard for. “

What’s next?

As for what’s happening now for the PGA Tour, Monahan added in the statement: “You probably have more questions. What’s next? Can these players come back? Can they finally play PGA TOUR Champions? Trust that we are prepared to address these issues, and we will approach them in the same way we have this whole process: by being transparent and respecting the PGA TOUR regulations that you helped to establish.

“These players have made the choice for their own financial reasons. But they can not claim the same PGA TOUR membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform as you. That expectation does not respect you, our fans and our partners. You have made another choice. , which is to abide by the tournament rules you agreed to when you achieved your dream of earning a PGA TOUR card and – more importantly – competing as part of the premier professional golfing organization. “

What is the LIV Golf Series?

The LIV Golf Series is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund led by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the man designated by a US intelligence report as responsible for approving the operation that led to the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Bin Salman has denied involvement in the murder of Khashoggi.

The tour consists of eight events around the world, starting in London on Thursday.

The team-based series, led by former world No. 1 Greg Norman, runs from June to October with the goal, it says, of “holistically improving the health of professional golf on a global scale to help unlock the sport’s (sic) untapped potential. . “

Saudi Arabia’s PIF has promised to hand out $ 250 million in prize money. Each of the first seven events will have a total prize pool of $ 25 million, with $ 20 million split between individual players and the remaining $ 5 million split between the top three teams at the end of each week.

Ahead of the first event in London, the 12 teams were announced, as well as their captain. On Tuesday, captains selected the rest of their teams in a draft format similar to the NFL and NBA drafts.

Unlike typical golf events, London’s event is over three days, not four, with the 48-man field starting with a hail start – all at the same time – in the hope of becoming a more engaging, action-packed style event.

Competing in a traditional stroke play format, the lowest score will be the winner.

What was LIV Golf’s answer?

LIV Golf reacted to the PGA Tour’s decision to suspend players on Thursday, saying: “Today’s announcement from the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members. It is disturbing that the Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game is the device that blocks golfers from playing.

“This is certainly not the last word on this topic. The era of free agency begins when we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”