PGA Tour suspends all players in Saudi-backed LIV Golf league

The PGA Tour has reacted.

It has laid a hammer down on players competing in the Greg Norman-backed LIV Golf Series, which began its first event at 9 a.m. on Thursday. Within an hour of first balls being struck in the LIV event, being played outside of London, the Tour sent out the release detailing its bans.

“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,” the release read. “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. This also applies to all tours sanctioned by the PGA Tour: the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

“The players listed below did not receive the necessary 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 a violation of our Tournament Regulations.”

Phil Mickelson, teeing off Thursday in the LIV Golf Invitational, and other PGA Tour players participating in the Saudi golf league are being suspended by the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson, teeing off Thursday in the LIV Golf Invitational, and other PGA Tour players participating in the Saudi golf league are being suspended by the PGA Tour.
AP

The players being banned are Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Talor Gooch, Andy Ogletree, Branden Grace, Matt Jones, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel, Hudson Swafford, Peter Uihlien, Lee Westwood and Turk Petit.

“Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members,” LIV Golf said in a statement. “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. The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”

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