The PGA Tour has denied the ‘conflicting event releases’ for members who’d sought to play in the inaugural event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Tour members were informed of the decision in a memo sent Tuesday evening.
“We have notified those who have applied that their request has been declined in accordance with the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations,” Tyler Dennis, Executive VP & President PGA TOUR, wrote in the memo.
“As such, Tour members are not authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League’s London event under our Regulations.
“As a membership organization, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the Tour and its players.”
Reigning PGA Champion Phil Mickelson and England’s Lee Westwood are among those known to have requested a release to play the 54-hole event at Centurion Club.
According to Sky Sports, other marquee names who sought a release included Bubba Watson, Kevin Na, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Martin Kaymer.
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard reports that players are surprised at the denial, as they assumed releases would be granted for the London event, overseas.
The PGA TOUR has announced that it will deny player waivers into the first LIV Golf event.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) May 10, 2022
“Sadly, the PGA Tour seems intent on denying professional golfers their right to play golf, unless it’s exclusively in a PGA Tour tournament,” said LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman in a released statement, following the U.S. tour’s decision.
“This is particularly disappointing in light of the Tour’s non-profit status, where its mission is purportedly ‘to promote the common interests of professional tournament golfers.’
“Instead, the Tour is intent on perpetuating its illegal monopoly of what should be a free and open market. The Tour’s action is anti-golfer, anti-fan, and anti-competitive.
“But no matter what obstacles the PGA Tour puts in our way, we will not be stopped. We will continue to give players options that promote the great game of golf globally.”
LIV Golf’s London event is scheduled for June 9-11, the same week as the RBC Canadian Open, which hasn’t been contested since 2019 due to Canada’s draconian COVID policies.
Rory McIlroy is the Canadian Open’s defending champion from his 2019 victory. Scottie Scheffler, the world No. 1 and FedExCup leader, has committed to play in Canada as well.
h/t The Irish Times