Posted on

PGA Tour: ‘Top players’ commit to ‘elevated’ events; Jay Monahan says ‘no’ to LIV golfers returning

PGA Tour: 'Top players' commit to 'elevated' events; Jay Monahan says 'no' to LIV golfers returning

The 12 elevated events will be the three FedExCup Playoffs, the Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial Tournament, WGC-Dell Match Play, Sentry Tournament of Champions and four events to be announced; Top golfers will play a minimum of three other regular PGA Tour events

Last Updated: 24/08/22 3:23pm

Jay Monahan say he is 'inspired by our great players and their commitment' as he outlines four key items to improve the PGA Tour.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Jay Monahan say he is ‘inspired by our great players and their commitment’ as he outlines four key items to improve the PGA Tour.

Jay Monahan say he is ‘inspired by our great players and their commitment’ as he outlines four key items to improve the PGA Tour.

Golf’s “top players” have committed to play at least 20 PGA Tour events a year, commissioner Jay Monahan has announced.

The 20 events include the four major championships, the Players Championship and 12 “elevated” tournaments on the PGA Tour which will have an average purse of $20million (£17million).

Players will then choose a minimum of three other PGA Tour events to add to their schedules as the Tour bids to combat the threat posed by the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.

“Our top players are firmly behind the Tour, helping us deliver an unmatched product to our fans, who will be all but guaranteed to see the best players competing against each other in 20 events or more throughout the season,” Monahan said in a press conference ahead of the Tour Championship.

Asked if LIV Golf players who were impressed by the changes to the PGA Tour would be welcomed back, Monahan said: “No.

“They’ve joined the LIV Golf Series and they’ve made that commitment and many have made a multi-year commitment.

“I’ve been clear throughout, every player has a choice and I respect that choice. I think they understand that.”

More to follow…

Posted on

PGA Tour suspends LIV golfers from all events

PGA Tour suspends LIV golfers from all events

The PGA Tour has suspended the 17 members who are competing in the inaugural LIV Golf International Series event, it announced Thursday.

Players who resigned their membership before starting the LIV Golf event being held outside London that began Thursday are also no longer eligible to compete in tour events or the Presidents Cup.

“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wrote in a memo to the tour’s membership. “But they can’t demand the same PGA TOUR membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform as you. That expectation disrespects you, our fans and our partners. You have made a different choice, which is to abide by the Tournament Regulations you agreed to when you accomplished the dream of earning a PGA TOUR card and — more importantly — to compete as part of the preeminent organization in the world of professional golf.”

The memo said players who compete in LIV events are ineligible to participate on the PGA Tour or any other tours it sanctions, including the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

Monahan wrote that any players who take part in future LIV Golf events will face the same punishment.

“I am certain our fans and partners — who are surely tired of all this talk of money, money and more money — will continue to be entertained and compelled by the world-class competition you display each and every week, where there are true consequences for every shot you take and your rightful place in history whenever you reach that elusive winner’s circle,” Monahan wrote.

“You are the PGA TOUR, and this moment is about what we stand for: the PGA TOUR membership as a whole. It’s about lifting up those who choose to not only benefit from the TOUR, but who also play an integral role in building it. I know you are with us, and vice versa. Our partners are with us, too. The fact that your former TOUR colleagues can’t say the same should be telling.”

LIV Golf, in a statement, called the PGA Tour’s punishment “vindictive” and said it “deepens the divide between the Tour and its members.”

“It’s troubling that the Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing,” LIV Golf said. “This certainly is not the last word on this topic. The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”

The PGA Tour announced the discipline less than 30 minutes after 17 of its members or former members who resigned from the tour in the past week hit their opening tee shots in the inaugural LIV Golf event at Centurion Club outside London.

Among them were six-time major champion Phil Mickelson, two-time major champion Dustin Johnson and longtime Ryder Cup participants Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.

Two other past major winners, 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, have also reached agreements with LIV Golf to compete in future tournaments, sources told ESPN on Wednesday. LIV Golf officials have also had ongoing discussions with other players, including Rickie Fowler and Jason Kokrak.

Johnson and Garcia are among the players who have resigned from the tour, along with 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Kevin Na. The players hoped to avoid punishment from the tour by quitting.

Monahan said the 10 players who have resigned their PGA Tour memberships will be removed from the FedEx Cup points standings after this week’s RBC Canadian Open. He wrote that “these players will not be permitted to play in PGA Tournaments as a non-member via a sponsor exemption” or any other eligibility category.

“This week, the RBC Canadian Open is a shining example of what you have created with the PGA Tour: a star-studded field, a committed sponsor, sold-out hospitality offerings, record crowds and a global broadcast distribution,” Monahan wrote. “These elements are part of the Tour’s DNA, built by the likes of Jack and Arnie, furthered by Tiger and countless others — whose legacies are inextricably linked, with each other and with the PGA Tour. This collective legacy can’t be bought or sold.”

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, a former world No. 1 golfer and two-time winner of The Open, has told ESPN in the past that the new circuit was prepared to help its players fight the PGA Tour’s position in court. Norman said he had players who were willing to participate in a legal battle.

“I can only speak on information given to me by our legal team, and I have an extremely talented legal team in antitrust and anticompetitive laws, and we believe we’re in the right position,” Norman said. “We believe the players are independent contractors and have a right to go play wherever they want to go play.”

On May 10, the PGA Tour denied conflicting-event releases to players who had requested them. Monahan had told players several times that they would face punishment for competing in the LIV events without releases.

The first LIV Golf tournament in the United States is scheduled for June 30-July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon.

The LIV Golf series features 54-hole events, shotgun starts, no cuts and a team format. The seven regular-season events — a slate that also includes stops in Bedminster, New Jersey; Boston; and Chicago — are offering $25 million purses, the richest in golf history. The winner gets $4 million, and the last-place finisher gets $120,000. A season-ending team championship, Oct. 27-30 at Trump National Doral in Miami, has a $50 million purse.

According to reports, top players also received signing bonuses from LIV Golf worth more than $100 million.

A longtime PGA Tour player who wasn’t approached about playing in the LIV Golf series told ESPN that he agreed that the tour had to punish the players to prevent others from defecting.

“We’re going to end up in a worse position because these guys wanted a quick money grab to go play in an exhibition,” the player said. “The [Saudis] are going to lose interest eventually. I think we all have a little bit of a responsibility to leave the game better than when we got here, and repping for a shady government with a questionable record isn’t doing that.”

LIV Golf is supported by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which is controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Salman has been accused of numerous human rights violations, including the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, speaking at a news conference at the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto on Wednesday, said he was concerned about golf’s future.

“I think it’s a shame that it’s going to fracture the game,” McIlroy said. “I think if anything, the professional game is the window shop into golf. If the general public are confused about who is playing where and what tournament’s on this week and, OK, he doesn’t get into these events, it just becomes so confusing. I think everything needs to try to become more cohesive, and I think it was on a pretty good trajectory until this happened.”

Posted on

PGA Tour denies golfers’ waiver requests to play Saudi-backed LIV Golf league event in London

PGA Tour denies golfers' waiver requests to play Saudi-backed LIV Golf league event in London

In a surprising decision by the PGA Tour this week, golfers who sought permission to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament have been denied their waiver requests. It is unknown at this time whether any PGA Tour players will risk punishment by going ahead with participation in the event at the Centurion Club in London from June 9-11.

“We have notified those who have applied that their request has been declined in accordance with the PGA TOUR Tournament Regulations. As such, TOUR members are not authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League’s London event under our Regulations,” said PGA Tour senior vice president Tyler Dennis in a memo to players. “As a membership organization, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the PGA TOUR and its players.”

The belief was that the PGA Tour, which must grant permission to its members to play in events outside the PGA Tour itself, would approve the waivers for the first of eight LIV Golf events this year before denying them at a later date when the league moved to North American turf. Instead, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has laid down the law early, denying his membership the ability to participate in the big-money events from the jump.

This is slightly unusual. Many golfers, including Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson were granted waivers earlier this year to play in the Saudi International, which is an event on the Asian Tour. However, the PGA Tour sees this LIV Golf Invitational series differently, ostensibly because it is not a one-off event but the beginning of a rival league. The PGA Tour only allows players three waiver requests a year.

If players choose to defy those denied waivers and play the event anyway, Monahan has consistently maintained in private that players could be suspended and permanently banned from the PGA Tour.

“Our PGA Tour rules and regulations were written by the players, for the players,” said Monahan at the Players Championship earlier this year, implying that suspensions and bans would hold up in a court of law. “They’ve been in existence for over 50 years. I’m confident in our rules and regulations, my ability to administer them, and that’s my position on the matter. … We’re confident in our position, and we’re going to keep moving forward as a PGA Tour and focus on the things that we control.”

PGA Tour players who either requested waiver releases or were linked with the league include Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na and Robert Garrigus. Then there’s Mickelson, of course, who is by far the biggest name involved, seemingly the linchpin for the entire thing and will undoubtedly end up being the poster boy in a court of law for how this all shakes out.

LIV Golf is a Saudi Arabia-financed league that is laboring to create an alternative golf tour while luring some of the top players in the world to its events. It was reported that Phil Mickelson helped write the operating agreement for the league before he disappeared from public view following some controversial comments about the folks running the league he allegedly helped start. The 48-golfer, 12-team LIV Golf events — five of which are slated to be played in the United States later this year — will have purses of $20 million, including a $5 million payout to the top team at each event.

Greg Norman, who is currently serving as the CEO of LIV Golf, has been adamant that legally-speaking golfers — who are considered independent contractors — could not be banned from the PGA Tour. The Tour obviously sees that differently. While this waiver denial is certainly surprising for the first event — the PGA Tour grants waivers all the time to events not held on North American soil — this was always going to come to a head at some point later on when the leagues clashed with conflicting events on the same dates in the United States.

This entire saga has been one that would likely head to court since the day it began. Now, it seems that is likely to happen sooner than originally thought.

Posted on

Report says 15 top-100 golfers look to play first LIV event –

Report says 15 top-100 golfers look to play first LIV event -
Columnist image

No names have been confirmed but a report suggests that as many as 15 of the world’s top-100 ranked golfers have asked for a release from the PGA Tour to play in the first tournament of the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The news was first reported by Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated.

The tournament is set for June 9-11 at the Centurion Golf Club near London, England. It will conflict with the RBC Canadian Open, which is being held after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PGA Tour members must obtain a release to play in a tournament that conflicts with a stop on the PGA Tour schedule. For this first event, requests must be made no later than April 25. They will be given an answer 30 days prior to the start of the tournament.

So far, the only golfer confirmed to have done that is Robert Garrigus, who is ranked 1,053rd in the world.

Organizers have said the tournament will have a full field of 48 golfers who will vie for a purse of $25 million, with 70 having already applied to play. It’s the first of eight scheduled events on the LIV Golf series calendar.

It was earlier believed that many top players might switch allegiances and play in the league backed by Saudi money, but one by one, they came out in support of the PGA Tour.

Most of that occurred following some harsh remarks by Phil Mickelson, an apparent supporter of the LIV league, who has since left the spotlight, not appearing at the Masters and not playing since February. He was vilified for his statements by many, and it’s not known if he will be among the players at the first tournament.

It was at that same time as Mickelson’s comments that LIV Golf changed course, going from a full-on tour into a series of individual tournaments. That will make it more difficult for the PGA Tour to turn down requests for its members to play in an event outside of the United States.

The LIV Golf schedule has four events set for U.S. locations with one in Thailand and another in Saudi Arabia. The final stop, which will be a team championship, is believed to be going to the Trump Doral Golf Course in Miami, Fla.

Organizers of the RBC Canadian Open have stated they aren’t worried about the conflicting dates with the first LIV event. Its field is strong with defending champion Rory McIlroy, Masters winner Scottie Scheffler, past champion Dustin Johnson and a Canadian contingent that includes Corey Conners, Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Hadwin set to tee it up. The tournament will be held at St. George’s G&CC in Toronto starting the week of June 6. 

Posted on

Junior golfers on target in junior tour events – Maple Ridge News

Junior golfers on target in junior tour events - Maple Ridge News

Local golfers were at the top of the leaderboards, as the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour held two events over the weekend.

Pitt Meadows golfer Jaden August took second place after a playoff at the MJT Chad Hippsley Real Estate Classic, which was held at Morgan Creek Golf Course in Surrey on April 9 and 10.

August, 13, shot two rounds of 77, and his 154 total tied with Michael Li of Vancouver for first place. August finished second after the playoff. There was a large field of 25 bantam boys competing in the event.

The event featured a $25,000 hole-in-one competition provided by its title sponsor, but there was no lucky winner.

Saturday saw the MJT Mini Tour Spring Series at Tsawwassen Springs. Maple Ridge golfer Cassie Zhiyi Chen, 12, finished third in the girls 11-12 category, and her 91 was just one shot back of the co-leaders.

Daniel Lam, 10, finished sixth out of 17 golfers in the Boys 9-10 class at that event, after he shot an 89.

The next stop on the tour is the MJT Ford series at the Chilliwack Golf and Country Club on April 23 and 24.

Have a story tip? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Golfmaple ridgePitt Meadows

Posted on

Two Longhorn Women’s Golfers set to compete in Major Events this week – University of Texas Athletics

Two Longhorn Women’s Golfers set to compete in Major Events this week - University of Texas Athletics

Chevron Championship

Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Two Texas Women’s Golfer’s will have the opportunity to represent the Longhorns in a pair of major events this week. Freshman Bohyun Park was selected as an amateur on a special sponsors invitation to compete against LPGA Tour Players in the Chevron Championship. Senior Sara Kouskova accepted an invitation as one of the world’s premier amateur golfers to compete in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. 

“Playing in a major event like this means so much to me,” Park said. “It’s a great opportunity to watch, compete and learn against other top golfers, as well as playing in the atmosphere of the professional golf world.”

“I’m excited for Bo, this is a tremendous opportunity,” said head coach Ryan Murphy. “She has steadily climbed the world rankings and will gain some invaluable experience as she continues fine-tuning her game for the next level.”

Kouskova shares the same excitement for this tremendous opportunity. 

“It’s incredible, it has been my dream to compete there from the time they announced the tournament’s creation,” Kouskova said. “Especially after being close the last two years, we are just so happy. It is going to be a great celebration for the whole Czech golf.”

“I don’t think there is anyone who deserves to be in the ANWA more than Sara,” Murphy added. “She made it a goal to gain an invite a long time ago and worked hard, played well in several big tournaments and literally did everything she could do to earn the invite via the world rankings. I’m so proud of Sara for the golfer that she is, the student that she is, the teammate that she is, and the person that she is.”

The Chevron Championship, one of the five major championships of professional women’s golf, is held annually at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Park will represent the Longhorns in the event that begins with practice rounds Monday and Tuesday, and includes a Pro-Am on Wednesday, before moving on to tournament play March 31-April 3. The Dinah Shore Trophy will await the amateur that wins the legendary championship.

“It’s such an honor to represent the Longhorn Women’s Golf Program on a LPGA major event,” said Park, who was selected based on her outstanding play during the 2021-22 season. “I am so grateful to be able to put UT on the screen.”

Kouskova will carry on a tradition of Longhorns in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, an event that includes a deep field of the world’s top amateurs. Played one week before the Masters Tournament, the Texas senior and the international field will compete across 54 holes of stroke play, with a cut to 30 players taking place after 36 holes. The first two rounds will take place on the Island and Bluff nines at Champions Retreat Golf Club on Wednesday and Thursday, March 30-31. The entire field will then play Augusta National for an official practice round on Friday, April 1, with the final round of those that make the cut taking place at Augusta National on Saturday, April 2.

“Playing as a Longhorn is always an honor, and I am glad there will be burnt orange in the field again,” Kouskova added. “Agathe (Laisne), Kaitlyn (Papp) and Emilee (Hoffman) left a great legacy at ANWA, and I am humbled to have the chance to follow that Longhorn tradition.”

Both Park and Kouskova credit the Texas coaches and the Longhorn Women’s Golf program for preparing them for big-time opportunities like this. Murphy will caddie for Park in California, while associate head coach Kate Golden will be in Augusta supporting Kouskova from the sidelines.

“The preparation we get at UT is truly professional,” Kouskova said. “We have an amazing facility and team around us. Coach Murphy alongside with Coach Kate do a great job in preparing us in a really complex way that strengthens and sharpens all aspects of our games, but also accounts for the life of an elite golfer with character.”

“Coach Murphy and I have worked together several times on the course in previous tournaments, and I feel like we work well together, so I think that will be a bonus for this week,” Park said. “Playing in the collegiate events among other great players really developed my game and has helped me continue to grow and develop as a golfer.”

The Chevron Championship will be featured on Golf Channel Coverage with broadcasts airing on Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. CT, along with Saturday and Sunday from 4-8 p.m. CT. Golf Channel will deliver on-site highlights, live reports and news coverage throughout the event.