The first LIV Golf Invitational Series event in London, taking place June 9-11, other dominoes will start to fall.
But we still have questions. Lots of them, in fact!
1. What has the PGA Tour said in response?
The ESPN reported that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan met with several agents at Muirfield Village on Wednesday, host of this week’s Memorial, and runners players won’t be allowed to play in both leagues .
The Tour also sent out a brief statement that was shared by Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard. It reads: “As a communicated to our entire membership on May 10, PGA Tour members are not authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League’s London event, under the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations. Members who violate the Tournament Regulations are subject to disciplinary action. ”
2. What kind of disciplinary action?
Well, probably a ban.
3. Can the Tour actually, legally, ban players?
Good question. LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman argues the Tour cannot do so. What we will probably see is a long, drawn-out legal process.
4. Will LIV Golf players be able to compete in majors?
This is one of the most important questions right now. Because if the organizations that run major championships still allow LIV players to compete in their tournaments, that means players will not have to stay just on the PGA Tour. Lenience from those bodies would give players, especially those looking for guaranteed money and a fighter schedule, options. It’s all about the majors, we’ve known for some time, and that trend won’t slow.
5. What have those governing bodies said so far?
Here’s a quick rundown:
Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley, when speaking to the media at the Masters in April, gave something of a non-answer to LIV defectors, but said “our mission is always to act in the best interests of the game in whatever form that may take. I think golf’s in a good place right now. ”
At the PGA Championship last month, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said, “We don’t think this is good for the game and we are supportive of it [the current] ecosystem. We have our own bylaws that we will follow towards those fields. ” Pressed on if the PGA’s bylaws preclude letting LIV golfers play, he said, “not specifically, but we have to be a recognized PGA member somewhere, and therefore eligible to play . If that becomes – something else became one of those – obviously we have recognized it. ”
As for the US Open, in a statement to the Golf Channel last week, a USGA official said: “We pride ourselves in being the most open championship in the world, with almost half our field securing their position by local / regional qualifiers; -by-case basis. ”
A spokesperson for the R&Awhich runs the Open Championship, told GOLF.com on Wednesday that “we haven’t commented on it and don’t plan to as it stands.”
In December, though, the R&A said it would drop its winner of the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit. That came just months after LIV Golf Investments, backed by Saudi money, announced hundreds of millions of dollars to the Asian Tour.
6. What will happen to the Ryder Cup?
Both the PGA of America and the DP World Tour have previously been allowed to play in the Ryder Cup. Johnson was 5-0 at Whistling Straits last year and several of Europe’s dominant players from the past two decades – Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell – signed on for the first LIV event.
McDowell was asked about this at the Asian Tour event in England on Wednesday.
“The perceived consequences are definitely concerning,” he said. “But as players, we just ask ourselves the question: If you get banned from the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, for example, is that good for the sport of golf? I believe it’s not good for the game and I really do feel like they’ve tried to create a schedule, which especially fits around the PGA Tour.
“It’s designed to co-exist with the other tours in the world and let’s just hope it all works out,” he continued. “The unknowns are a little scary but I’m sure it’s a decision for every player that’s decided to take the leap. And we just hope that the right decision will be made. ”
7. Where does Phil Mickelson stand in all of this?
Mickelson not mentioned in the field. But only 42 of the 48 entrants were announced. Five of those open spots will be filled by players who qualify from the Asian Tour event. And that leaves one more spot. Who’s left for anyone’s guess.
8. Will Mickelson play in any of these LIV events?
Well, there’s obviously a chance that you could still do that. But who can predict Mickelson right now?
9. Should we be surprised Dustin Johnson committed to the league?
Probably! Johnson was originally rumored to be interested but was among the pros who stood by the Tour shortly after Mickelson’s viral comments. He’s 37 years old and likely to get a payday to sign on, but he’ll never bring another PGA Tour event again.
Here is what Johnson said about his future in a November 2020 press conference: ” hang out with my kids and Paulina. ”
10. Will even more big names join the next LIV Golf event?
Potentially, especially because it will be in the U.S. (in Portland, Ore., July 1-3). Seeing a big, established name like DJ commit might help some star players on the fence also join in the future. But that also depends on the PGA Tour dishes out, and what major tournament organizers decide.
11. Will this all be settled soon?
Umm… no chance.