Sources: PGA commish draws line in sand on LIV
11: 56 AM ET
Mark SchlabachESPN Senior Writer
- Senior college football writer
- Author of seven books on college football
- Graduate of the University of Georgia
COLUMBUS, Ohio — PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan met with several agents of tour players at Muirfield Village Golf Club on Wednesday, and his message to them was once again clear, according to sources. PGA Tour or LIV Golf Invitational Series. Players will not be allowed to play on either circuit.
After LIV Golf released the names of 42 players who will compete in its first event outside London next week, the PGA Tour released a statement on Wednesday that reiterated Monahan’s warning that players would face discipline for defying the tour’s position, including potential fines, suspensions and/or bans.
“As communicated to our entire membership on May 10, PGA Tour members have not been authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League’s London event, under PGA Tour Tournament Regulations,” the tour’s statement Wednesday said. “Members who break the Tournament Regulations will be disciplined. “
The PGA Tour denied conflicting-event releases to players who had requested them on May 10. The RBC Canadian Open in Ontario is next week’s first LIV Golf event.
The 42-player list that was released by LIV Golf on Tuesday night includes two-time major winners Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer and four other major winners: Sergio Garcia (2017 Masters), Charl Schwartzel (2011 Masters), Graeme McDowell (2010 U.S. Open) and Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Championship).
Rory McIlroy, speaking during a news conference ahead of the Memorial, which begins Thursday, said that there were a couple of surprises but that he wasn’t particularly impressed with the strength of the LIV field.
” I don’t think there is much to be excited about in the field,” McIlroy stated. “Take a look at the field this week. Take a look at the field next week in Canada. These are legitimate golf tournaments. “
When ESPN asked McIlroy whether the tour should severely discipline its players who compete in the LIV events to dissuade others from doing so in the future, he took a softer stance on the threat of the breakaway circuit than he had in the past.
” I don’t think they should throw the hammer.” McIlroy stated. “Look, they have every right to enforce the rules and regulations that were set. It will end up being a dispute about the rules and regulations. I have many close friends who are participating in this London event, and I wouldn’t want them to be impeded from doing what is best for them.
“It’s not something that I would do personally. But I understand why some guys have [decided to play in London],. It’s something we all will just keep an eye on over the next few weeks and see what happens. “
Australia’s Matt Jones, who is among the PGA Tour players in the LIV field, said Wednesday that “it was a good business opportunity for me and my family. “
“I like this concept, the idea for three-day tournaments, [and] and the team format aspect is great,” Jones stated.
Jones, a two-time PGA Tour winner, said he hoped the tour doesn’t ban players because they compete in the LIV Golf series, which is being fronted by Greg Norman, a two-time Open winner and former No. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund funded the project.
“I thought about that, and it was something I had to weigh up,” Jones stated. Jones said that banning players is not a good idea for the PGA Tour or golf in general. I hope that there is a way to work around it. But I am happy with my decision and look forward to it. It’s going to be great. I’m just excited about playing golf. I love to compete. I enjoy playing on all kinds of golf courses around the world. “
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.