The PGA Tour suspended the 17 members playing in the first-ever LIV Golf Invitational Series event in London this week, following through on threats it made when the rival tour announced its schedule.
Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, and Phil Mickelson are among the most prominent players facing consequences for playing with LIV Golf.
Monahan fires away at “financial-based reasons” for LIV defections
Some of those players resigned their PGA Tour memberships before the announcement. Those players can’t play in the Presidents Cup or in tour events.
In a memo to players, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said that future LIV Golf participants will face the same sanctions.
“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons,” Monahan wrote. “But they can’t demand the same PGA Tour membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform as you. That expectation disrespects you, our fans, and our partners.”
LIV Golf quickly shot back with a statement of their own condemning the PGA Tour’s decision.
Official statement from LIV Golf pic.twitter.com/UBt4DpRdS4
— LIV Golf (@LIVGolfInv) June 9, 2022
“Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members,” the statement read. “It’s troubling that the Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing. This certainly is not the last word on this topic.”
Charl Schwartzel, who leads the LIV Golf tournament after the first round, is among the players who have resigned their PGA Tour memberships. Louis Oosthuizen, Garcia, Johnson, and Kevin Na have all taken that step as well.
Poulter vows to fight PGA Tour suspension
Other players, like Ian Poulter, have merely chosen to play in the LIV Golf series. Poulter says he will appeal his suspension.
“It makes no sense,” Poulter told reporters. “I’ve always had the ability to play golf all around the world. What’s wrong with that? I haven’t done anything wrong. How many which ways do you want to cut that?”
Monahan’s memo outlined other punishments for the players in the LIV Golf series.
PGA Tour suspends current and future LIV players. pic.twitter.com/lKhxo27Ida
— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch) June 9, 2022
“The players who have resigned their memberships will be removed from the FedExCup Points List when the official statistics following the RBC Canadian Open are posted on Sunday evening,” Monahan wrote. “These players will not be permitted to play in PGA Tour tournaments as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category. For those who haven’t yet resigned, we will ensure they will not negatively impact your tournament eligibility, your position in the Priority Rankings, or your eligibility to compete in the FedExCup Playoffs.”
Monahan said the PGA Tour will continue to monitor the situation and will be transparent in dealing with players who ask to return to the tour, among other questions.
Much of the memo, however, took shots at the motivations behind the players participating in the LIV Golf event.
“I am certain our fans and partners – who are surely tired of all this talk of money, money, and more money – will continue to be entertained and compelled by the world-class competition you display each and every week, where there are true consequences for every shot you take and your rightful place in history whenever you reach that elusive winner’s circle.”