PGA Tour’s chief says Saudi-paid players are no longer eligible
The PGA Tour says members who are playing in the Saudi-funded league in London are no longer eligible to play tour events.
Commissioner Jay Monahan has sent out a memo indicating the sanctions against Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Andy Ogletree, Talor Gooch, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Turk Pettit, Ian Poulter, Matt Jones, Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer, Hudson Swafford, Graeme McDowell, Peter Uihlein, Lee Westwood and Kevin Na.
The memo went out a short time after the LIV Golf Invitational outside London began with a 48-player field.
The decision includes the Presidents Cup. Monahan says even if players resigned their membership, they are not eligible as nonmembers to get sponsor exemptions to tournaments.
“What’s next? Can these players come back? Can they eventually play PGA TOUR Champions? Trust that we’re prepared to deal with those questions, and we’ll approach them in the same way we have this entire process: by being transparent and respecting the PGA TOUR regulations that you helped establish,” Monahan wrote.
“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,” he wrote to players.
The LIV issued this statement in response:
“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. 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.”
The USGA has said players can still play the U.S. Open next week.
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