PGA Tour suspends all members playing in LIV Golf Series

In stunning news, the PGA Tour has announced that it has suspended all golfers playing in the ongoing LIV Golf Series.

The Saudi-backed tour has attracted mass controversy over recent days, primarily due to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Former PGA Tour world number one Dustin Johnson made headlines earlier this week. He sensationally resigned from the PGA Tour to play in the LIV Golf Series.

He has been joined by multiple-time major winners, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson. Mickelson, however, stated in a press conference that he had not resigned his PGA Tour membership to play, unlike Johnson.

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The LIV Golf Series is taking place this week in London, with the news coming in the middle of the first event.

The opening event of the tour began on Thursday. Mickelson, Johnson, Garcia and Ian Poulter are amongst the top names competing. American star Bryson DeChambeau is set to join the tour from its second event onwards.

What has the PGA Tour said?

In a letter to PGA Tour members, Commissioner Jay Monahan wrote: “We have followed the Tournament Regulations from start to finish in responding to those players who have decided to turn their backs on the PGA TOUR by willfully violating a regulation.

“Simultaneous to you receiving this memo, the players are being notified that they are suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA TOUR tournament play, including the Presidents Cup.”

Monahan later added: “Players listed below did not receive the necessary conflicting event 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 Regulations. The same fate holds true for any other players who participate in future Saudi Golf League events in violation of our Regulations.

“Also, in accordance with PGA Tour Tournament Regulations, 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.

“To be clear, 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.”

What is the LIV Golf Series?

The LIV Golf Series is a new golf tour backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). The same group was involved in a consortium that purchased Newcastle United last year.

There are huge amounts of money on offer for simply participating in the event. If a total of 48 players compete, every golfer is guaranteed a sum of $120,000. There is a total of $4 million on offer for winning each of the eight events. In addition, each event has a prize pool of $25 million. That is more than The Masters and PGA Championship events.

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