The PGA Tour says members who are playing in the Saudi-funded league in London are no longer eligible to play tour events.
Commissioner Jay Monahan has sent out a memo indicating the sanctions against Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and 15 other players. The memo went out a short time after the LIV Golf Invitational outside London began with a 48-player field.
The decision includes the Presidents Cup. Monahan says even if players resigned their membership, they are not eligible as nonmembers to get sponsor exemptions to tournaments. The USGA has said players can still play the U.S. Open next week.
Mickelson and Johnson were among a number of former major champions to leave the PGA Tour behind for the LIV Golf Invitational, which is offering mammoth purses.
While Johnson said he voluntarily resigned from the PGA Tour, Mickelson was essentially fired from the circuit.
“I've also worked really hard to contribute and try to build and add value to the TOUR during my time there, and I worked really hard to earn a lifetime exemption,” Mickelson said. “And I -- I don't want to give that up. I don't believe I should have to. I don't know what that means for a future, but I don't know what's going to happen. But I've earned that, and I don't plan on just giving it up.”
Several other former major champions appear to be joining the league. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed will announce they too are joining the circuit. The outlet reported they will play at LIV Golf’s first American event later this month.
Players said that LIV Golf’s lucrative purses and appearance fees contributed to their decision to leave behind the PGA Tour.
“I hope there's a few more years left in the tank but there are no promises left on the PGA TOUR. And an opportunity like this comes along where you can play the last three or four years of your career, in a very financially lucrative environment, it would be crazy to walk away from that as a businessman,” said Graeme McDowell, past U.S. Open champion.