PGA suspends 17 dissenters

PGA suspends 17 dissenters

Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia were among 17 golfers who were suspended by the PGA on Thursday for their participation in the first LIV Golf tournament, a controversial new competition circuit funded by Saudi Arabia.

• Read also: Golf: two other big names would join the LIV circuit

• Read also: LIV golf: New Saudi league shakes up the golf world

• Read also: Dustin Johnson joins the Saudi Golf League

In a note to PGA Tour golfers, Commissioner Jay Monahan noted that these 17 athletes (see below) had “made a decision based on financial considerations.”

“But they can’t claim the same benefits, the same consideration, the same opportunities and the same platform as you,” added Mr. Monahan. These expectations are disrespectful to you, your fans, and our partners. »

unknown duration

Among these 17 golfers, 10 had already terminated the agreement that linked them to the PGA, including Johnson. Mickelson was still considered a member of the circuit when the first ever LIV Golf tournament kicked off on Thursday in St Albans, near London.

They will now be banned from American PGA events, including the President’s Cup, but also those on satellite circuits, including the Champions and Korn Ferry.

Golfers also lost all points earned in qualifying for the FedEx Cup, which is the PGA’s season-ending championship.

On Thursday, Monahan did not specify the length of the penalty. But this comes at the same time that the Canadian Open, one of the three oldest tournaments in the world, is in full swing in Toronto, with Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy as the main headliners.

“I don’t see anyone missing here. Except maybe DJ [Dustin Johnson] “World No. 1 ranked Scheffler teased earlier this week.

“It’s embarrassing that this league is about to fracture our game,” McIlroy said more seriously. Professional golf is the showcase of our sport. If the public is confused to the point of not knowing who is playing where and what tournament is taking place this week, the confusion will grow. »

colossal sums

The participation of some golfers in the LIV Golf circuit, led by former glory Greg Norman, has been the subject of debate for some time.

In February, Mickelson, winner of last year’s PGA Championship, said he was ready to join LIV Golf despite Saudi Arabia’s “lack of respect for human rights and especially gay people.”

Because largely from there comes the controversy surrounding this new circuit that offers incredible prizes: 31 million dollars in each of its eight tournaments, or double the four major PGA events.

And both Mickelson and Johnson, the two main captures of the LIV Tour, would have touched about 200 M$ to join the circuit.

saudi money

These astronomical sums come from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund owned by the country’s government.

Saudi Arabia is denounced by several international organizations for its management of human rights and freedom of expression.

For now, LIV Golf has no sponsor or television network. But that does not prevent its main supplier, with a lot of money, from spending hundreds of millions to promote its circuit.

Mickelson, 51, a winner of six major titles, said he saw the circuit as an opportunity to “transform” his sport. “It will bring balance, allowing me to focus on a healthier approach to life in and out of competition,” he added.

– With AFP

WHAT IS LIV GOLF?


Tournaments in England, USA, Thailand and Saudi Arabia

Tournaments in England, USA, Thailand and Saudi Arabia

  • 48 golfers by event
  • $31 million in bag per tournament
  • $5 million for the winner, $150,000 for the last
  • 8 tournaments per season (including a season-ending event in Miami)
  • 3 rounds per tournament (hence 54 holes, as Roman numeral LIV)
  • 8 The last tournament of the season is a team competition.
  • 0 No cut after rounds

the seventeen deserters

To these names should be added those of Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed at the end of the month. According to LIV Golf, the new circuit will host 17 of the 100 best golfers in the world.

And the next majors?

  • The US Open, which will be played next week in Brookline, near Boston, announced last Tuesday that golfers who have joined LIV Golf will still be able to participate in the tournament.
  • It is not yet clear if they will be able to participate in the British Open, which will take place in mid-July.
  • The prestigious Masters, which crowned Scottie Scheffler, has not yet decided on his participation, next April. Neither does the PGA Championship. But it would be surprising if the latter accepted dissenting golfers, since he required that competitors be part of a recognized circuit (which LIV Golf is not yet).


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