The PGA Tour suspended their 17 members who were playing in the LIV Golf Invitational Series at the Centurion Club despite having their releases denied; Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter among the players punished
Last Updated: 09/06/22 6:37pm
Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have both backed the PGA Tour’s decision to suspend all players competing in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sent a memo to all members on Thursday afternoon, shortly after play began at the Centurion Club, confirming that every player competing in the Saudi-backed breakaway series were suspended indefinitely from the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter were among the list of 17 players confirmed as suspended, with the statement confirming that those “competing this week without releases are suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play, including the Presidents Cup.”
McIlroy said last month that he understood why some players could be tempted to switch to the Greg Norman-fronted circuit, having previously described the proposal as “dead in the water”, although believes it’s right for players to be suspended for teeing it up in England.
“I think at this point, Jay [Monahan] has been pretty transparent in terms of he’s just going to act within the tournament regulations and the rules that are set for a PGA Tour member,” McIlroy said after an opening-round 66 at the RBC Canadian Open.
“All he’s doing is basically going by the book. I think that the majority of the membership that are here this week and that haven’t gone and played elsewhere really appreciate that.
“So I think he’s done the right thing because these guys have broken rules and done things outside of the tournament regulations, and because of that, there are going to be consequences, I guess.”
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Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter are among the higher-profile golfers in the 48-man field this week now suspended, with Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood all in the group to have resigned from their PGA Tour membership.
When asked about the suspension of players, Thomas said: “I’m pleased. I think anybody that’s shocked clearly hasn’t been listening to the message that Jay [Monahan] and everybody’s been putting out. They took that risk going into it, whether they thought it was a risk or not.
“Like I’ve said the whole time, I have great belief and great confidence in the PGA Tour and where we’re going and continuing to grow to, and those guys just aren’t going to be a part of it.
“They [LIV Golf] are obviously throwing so much money at people that it’s very hard to turn down. I don’t care what you say in terms of that people play for different reasons. It doesn’t matter who you are or what it is, everything has a number.
“They’re reaching that number for some people, and I hope that they don’t get others. But I think a very strong core group of us is very stable and firm in our position, and I hope that it stays that way.”