The PGA Tour announced on Thursday that they have suspended 17 players who are competing in the first event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series this week near London, after it warned of potential discipline. Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Na, Talor Gooch, Sergio Garcia, Matt Jones, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Hudson Swafford are among the Top 100 players impacted by the ban from PGA Tour play.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan released a memo on the disciplinary measure, saying in part: “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.” Monahan noted that “the same fate holds true for any other players who participate in future Saudi Golf League events” in violation of PGA Tour regulations, which could potentially impact Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, who are expected to join LIV Golf later this season.
LIV Golf released a statement hours later and called the PGA Tour move “vindictive,” adding: “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.”
LIV Golf Invitational London teed off Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Centurion Club in Hemel Hempstead, England. The suspension also bars the players from the Presidents Cup and other tours sanctioned by the PGA Tour, in addition to this season’s primary tournaments.
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