PGA Tour denies releases for players in Saudi-funded event

Tue, May 10, 2022
Other News (AP)

PGA Tour denies releases for players in Saudi-funded event

The PGA Tour is denying releases to golfers who asked to play in the first of a series of Saudi-funded tournaments next month in England, a bold move by Commissioner Jay Monahan in trying to quash Greg Norman's latest bid to start a lucrative rival league.

The first LIV Golf Invitational is scheduled for June 9-11 at Centurion Golf Club outside of London, with a 48-man field competing for a $20 million purse over 54 holes. The winner gets $4 million - to date the richest prize in golf - and last place gets $120,000.

The tour informed the players who are seeking releases late Tuesday afternoon, and then notified all players of the decision in a short memo, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

"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," the memo said.

"As a membership organization, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the PGA Tour and its players."

While the names of players who have signed up has not officially been released, Phil Mickelson said through his agent he has asked for a conflicting event release to the London event. Lee Westwood confirmed last week he asked the PGA Tour and European tour for a release.

  • The Daily Telegraph reported that Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter also were among those who sought releases.

    Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf Investments, funded primarily by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. He told Sky Sport earlier Tuesday he would have six of the top 50 players in the world at the London event and 19 of the top 100.

    Now that Monahan has staked his position, it's up to the players to decide if they still want to go and risk losing PGA Tour membership.

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