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Golfers participating in LIV Golf tournaments will no longer be eligible to compete in PGA Tour events and the Presidents Cup, Commissioner Jay Monahan told members in a memo obtained by Fox News Digital on Thursday.
The memo to PGA Tour members was sent as LIV Golf’s first tournament teed off in London. The Saudi-backed league will feature stars like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Kevin Na, Lee Westwood and others. Monahan thanked those who committed to this weekend’s RBC Canadian Open and addressed his letter to “those players who have decided to turn their backs on the PGA TOUR by willfully violating a regulation.”
The memo specifically singled out Johnson, Mickelson, Na, Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Talor Gooch, Branden Grace, Matt Jones, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Andy Ogletree, Louis Oosthuizen, Turk Pettit, Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel, Hudson Swafford and Peter Uihlein. Monahan said either these players didn’t receive releases to play in LIV Golf or didn’t apply for the releases at all.
Players who resigned their memberships, including Garcia, Grace, Johnson, Kaymer, McDowell, Na, Oosthuizen, Pettit, Schwartzel and Westwood, would be removed from the FedEx Cup Points List following the conclusion of the RBC Canadian Open, according to the memo. Those players who resigned will not be allowed to play in PGA Tour tournaments as a non-member via sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category.
“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons. 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. You have made a different choice, which is to abide by the Tournament Regulations you agreed to when you accomplished the dream of earning a PGA Tour card and – more importantly – to compete as part of the preeminent organization in the world of professional golf,” the memo read.
“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.”
Monahan lauded those who remained with the PGA Tour and said being with the organization was about “lifting up” everyone involved.
“I know you are with us, and vice versa. Our partners are with us, too. The fact that your former Tour colleagues can’t say the same should be telling,” Monahan added.
LIV Golf, backed by Saudi Arabia’s financial arm, shook up the golf world when it began to offer PGA Tour members insane sums of money to compete in the rival league.
Some players decided to jump to the new league and in turn faced the wrath of the PGA Tour. The discipline will also apply to players who may decide to bolt the PGA Tour in the future.
LIV Golf responded to the PGA Tour’s suspension, calling it “vindictive.”
“Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members. 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,” LIV Golf said.
“This certainly is not the last word on this topic. The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of playing joining s in London, and beyond.”