PGA Tour suspends all gamers participating in first LIV Golf match


The PGA Tour has suspended the 17 members who’re competing within the inaugural LIV Golf occasion, asserting the punishment in a memo to gamers Thursday, a duplicate of which was obtained by ESPN.

Gamers who resigned their membership earlier than beginning the LIV Golf occasion being held exterior London beginning Thursday are additionally now not eligible to compete in tour occasions or the Presidents Cup.

“These gamers have made their alternative for their very own financial-based causes,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wrote within the memo. “However they can not demand the identical PGA TOUR membership advantages, concerns, alternatives and platform as you. That expectation disrespects you, our followers and our companions. You’ve made a special alternative, which is to abide by the Event Rules you agreed to whenever you achieved the dream of incomes a PGA TOUR card and — extra importantly — to compete as a part of the preeminent group on this planet {of professional} golf.”

The memo mentioned gamers who compete in LIV occasions are ineligible to take part on the PGA Tour or some other excursions it sanctions, together with the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

Monahan wrote that any gamers who participate in future LIV Golf occasions will face the identical punishment.

“I’m sure our followers and companions — who’re absolutely bored with all this discuss of cash, cash and extra money — will proceed to be entertained and compelled by the world-class competitors you show every week, the place there are true penalties for each shot you are taking and your rightful place in historical past everytime you attain that elusive winner’s circle,” Monahan wrote.

“You’re the PGA TOUR, and this second is about what we stand for: the PGA TOUR membership as a complete. It is about lifting up those that select to not solely profit from the TOUR, however who additionally play an integral function in constructing it. I do know you’re with us, and vice versa. Our companions are with us, too. The truth that your former TOUR colleagues cannot say the identical must be telling.”

The PGA Tour introduced the self-discipline lower than 30 minutes after 17 of its members or former members who resigned from the tour prior to now week hit their opening tee photographs within the inaugural LIV Golf occasion at Centurion Membership exterior London.

Amongst them had been six-time main champion Phil Mickelson, two-time main champion Dustin Johnson and longtime Ryder Cup contributors Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.

Two different former main winners, 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, have additionally reached agreements with LIV Golf to compete in future tournaments, sources advised ESPN on Wednesday. LIV Golf officers have additionally had ongoing discussions with different gamers, together with Rickie Fowler and Jason Kokrak.

Johnson and Garcia are among the many gamers who’ve resigned from the tour, together with 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Kevin Na. The gamers hoped to keep away from punishment from the tour by quitting.

Monahan mentioned the 10 gamers who’ve resigned their PGA Tour memberships shall be faraway from the FedEx Cup factors standings after this week’s RBC Canadian Open. He wrote that “these gamers won’t be permitted to play in PGA Tournaments as a non-member by way of a sponsor exemption or one other different eligibility class.”

“This week, the RBC Canadian Open is a shining instance of what you might have created with the PGA Tour: a star-studded area, a dedicated sponsor, sold-out hospitality choices, file crowds and a worldwide broadcast distribution,” Monahan wrote. “These parts are a part of the Tour’s DNA, constructed by the likes of Jack and Arnie, furthered by Tiger and numerous others — whose legacies are inextricably linked, with one another and with the PGA Tour. This collective legacy cannot be purchased or bought.”

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, a former world No. 1 golfer and two-time winner of The Open, has advised ESPN prior to now that the brand new circuit was ready to assist its gamers battle the PGA Tour’s place in court docket. Norman mentioned he had gamers who had been prepared to take part in a authorized battle.

“I can solely communicate on data given to me by our authorized crew, and I’ve a particularly gifted authorized crew in antitrust and anticompetitive legal guidelines, and we consider we’re in the precise place,” Norman mentioned. “We consider the gamers are unbiased contractors and have a proper to go play wherever they need to go play.”

On Could 10, the PGA Tour denied conflicting-event releases to gamers who had requested them. Monahan had advised gamers a number of instances that they might face punishment for competing within the LIV occasions with out releases.

The primary LIV Golf match in the USA is scheduled for June 30-July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon.

The LIV Golf collection options 54-hole occasions, shotgun begins, no cuts and a crew format. The seven regular-season occasions, which are also scheduled in Bedminster, New Jersey, Boston and Chicago, are providing $25 million purses, the richest in golf historical past. The winner will get $four million, and the last-place finisher will get $120,000. A season-ending crew championship at Trump Nationwide Doral in Miami, on Oct. 27-30, has a $50 million purse.

In response to stories, prime gamers additionally acquired signing bonuses from LIV Golf price greater than $100 million.

A longtime PGA Tour participant, who wasn’t approached about enjoying within the LIV Golf collection, advised ESPN that he agreed that the tour needed to punish the gamers to forestall others from defecting.

“We will find yourself in a worse place as a result of these guys wished a fast cash seize to go play in an exhibition,” the participant mentioned. “The [Saudis] are going to lose curiosity finally. I feel all of us have a little bit little bit of a duty to go away the sport higher than once we obtained right here, and repping for a shady authorities with a questionable file is not doing that.”

LIV Golf is supported by the Public Funding Fund of Saudi Arabia, which is managed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Salman has been accused of quite a few human rights violations, together with the homicide of Washington Submit journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

4-time main winner Rory McIlroy, talking at a information convention on the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto on Wednesday, mentioned he was involved about golf’s future.

“I feel it is a disgrace that it is going to fracture the sport,” McIlroy mentioned. “I feel if something, the skilled sport is the window store into golf. If most of the people are confused about who’s enjoying the place and what match’s on this week and, OK, he does not get into these occasions, it simply turns into so complicated. I feel every part must attempt to turn into extra cohesive, and I feel it was on a fairly good trajectory till this occurred.”

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