On Thursday morning, the PGA Tour was on the clock to make a decision that players, officials, and the media have been anticipating for weeks; how would the Tour respond to the 17 golfers who defied its order to not compete in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament series?
Moments after those players officially began competition at Centurion Club, the PGA Tour announced it would be suspending those 17 golfers who hold or had tour status, according to an email sent to PGA Tour players.
The suspension also prevents those members who resigned their tour cards from earning invitations to compete on tour through sponsors, exemptions, or past-champion status.
"These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons," PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan wrote in the memo. "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."
Players Suspended by the PGA Tour
- Lee Westwood *
- Peter Uihlein
- Hudson Swafford
- Charl Schwartzel *
- Ian Poulter
- Turk Pettit*
- Louis Oosthuizen*
- Andy Ogletree
- Kevin Na*
- Phil Mickelson
- Graeme McDowell*
- Martin Kaymer*
- Matt Jones
- Dustin Johnson*
- Branden Grace*
- Talor Gooch
- Sergio Garcia*
* indicates player has resigned membership from the Tour
In a response statement, LIV Golf called the PGA Tour's decision to suspend players "vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members."
LIV also noted this statement would not be the last communication it will issue on the decision. LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has previously stated that LIV would provide legal support to those players who wished to challenge any suspension by the PGA Tour.
What's On Tap Next?
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan wrote that any future players who chose to play in upcoming LIV events would also be suspended from competing in any future PGA Tour-related events.
Those suspensions would not take place until after those players have competed in a LIV Golf series event. The statement did not clarify how long those players who compete in the LIV series are suspended for and if there is a path back to the Tour for any of those defectors.
The PGA Tour typically does not announce disciplinary actions to the media and is confidential in its decisions.
Though the USGA announced early this week it would allow those players competing in the LIV London event to play in next week's U.S. Open, rumors are circulating about the Masters banning those players competing from competing at Augusta National.
One thing is clear; LIV Golf is happening and the fallout has just begun.