Bill Mickelson plays on the 18th during the Pro-Am match at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Steven Boston | PA Pictures | Getty Images
The PGA Tour has suspended 17 golfers, including key championship winners Bill Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, who will compete Thursday in a Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament near London. Suspensions are indefinite.
An internal PGA memo states that “players did not receive the required conflicting event and media rights publication – nor did they apply for the releases at all”. The memo dated Thursday states that the PGA will suspend any future tour players playing at LIV events.
“These players have made their choice for reasons based on their own finances,” the memo says. “But they can not claim the same PGA TOUR membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and site as you.”
Michelson has been LIV Golf is a great recruitment, Which is mainly funded by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. He has not played golf since February. His contract with LIV is said to be Worth about $ 200 million.
Another former PGA star, Greg Norman, serves as CEO of LIV Golf Investments. Past human rights abuses by the Saudi government, including the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Kashoki, have heated up Norman, Mickelson and others to join the effort.
Michelson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC. Johnson said he had no opinion.
LIV Golf called the decision “revenge” and said it “deepens the divide between the Tour and its members”.
“Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is concerned about preventing golfers from playing the game. This is certainly not the last word on the topic. We are proud of the era of free agency. We need to connect full-fledged players with us in London and beyond,” the organization said.
The LIV event, which takes place in the UK, is the first of eight planned events. Five of them are set for the United States, including two courses owned by former President Donald Trump.
Here is the list of players. Asterisks refer to players who have already told the PGA that their members are resigning.
- Sergio Garcia *
- Thalor Cooch
- Brandon Grace *
- Dustin Johnson *
- Matt Jones
- Martin Gamer *
- Graeme McDowell *
- Bill Mickelson
- Kevin Na *
- Andy O’Callaghan
- Louis Oosthuizen *
- Durk Pettit *
- Ian Boulder
- Charles Swartzell *
- Hudson Swaford
- Peter Uyhlin
- Lee Westwood *
This is a growing story. Check back for updates.