PGA Tour suspends stars involved in LIV Golf event

Half an hour after the opening tee shots of the LIV International Golf Series, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan fired off one of his own by announcing that any player featuring in the series would be suspended from competing on the PGA Tour.

Monahan released a letter to its members explaining that 'these players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons. 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'.

He added that the 'same fate holds true for any other players who participate in future Saudi Golf League events in violation of our regulations'.

It also mentions that any player who has resigned their membership will not be able to take up a sponsor's invite so the door is completely slammed on the likes of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell who will not be allowed to play in tournaments as non-members through sponsor exemptions, while they will also be removed from the FedExCup points list.

Ian Poulter said that he will appeal the decision while Rory McIlroy, a staunch supporter of the PGA Tour, welcomed the news: "I think it's the right thing because these guys have broken rules and done things outside of the tournament regulations, and because of that there are going to be consequences, I guess."

The DP World Tour is yet to comment on any similar suspension.

LIV Golf wasted very little time with an almost immediate response: "Today's announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members. It's troubling that the Tour, an organisation dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing.

"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 players are eligible, for now, for the four majors starting with the US Open next week.