(WCMH) — The PGA Tour announced Thursday that it is suspending all current players who joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league and will do the same to any player who joins the league in the future.
This announcement comes on the heels of some of the world’s best golfers deciding to join LIV Golf, including former world No. 1 player Dustin Johnson, 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed.
“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reason,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in the statement. “They can’t demand the same PGA Tour membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform as you (current members).”
One of the first players to join LIV Golf was fan-favorite and six-time major winner Phil Mickelson who said he joined the league to “reshape how the PGA Tour operates.” Mickelson apologized for comments made to golf writer Alan Shipnuck in November that were made public in February about the Saudi government’s “horrible record on human rights.”
“I don’t condone human rights violations. I don’t know how I can be any more clear,” Mickelson told a group of reporters Wednesday ahead of LIV Golf’s first event in London. “I understand that many people have very strong opinions and may disagree with my decision … but at this time, this is an opportunity that gives me a chance to have the most balance in my life going forward.”
Mickelson opted to not play in the Masters tournament in April but neither the veteran nor the PGA said if he has been suspended since his comments.
Instead, Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley said Mickelson did not intend to play in the 2022 Masters while he is “taking a break from playing golf.”
Monahan did not say whether the players who joined LIV Golf will be able to return to the PGA Tour. Mickelson said Wednesday he has no intention of resigning from the PGA Tour, something Johnson did on Tuesday.
In addition, the players who resigned their PGA Tour membership will be removed from the FedEx Cup points list following the conclusion of the RBC Canadian Open this weekend.
LIV Golf is holding its first event in London starting Thursday.
Had Mickelson played in the 2022 Masters, it would’ve been his 30th.