Unlike Byson DeChambeau, who recently said he was not tempted by LIV Golf before making the leap to the Saudi-backed tour this week, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan kept his word.
Monahan skipped over any meaningless fines and did what he had to do: Protect his tour and back up his talk of the last few months.
Monahan, on Thursday, sent a memo to those who have “decided to turn their backs on the PGA Tour,” informing them they are “suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in the PGA Tour tournament play, including the Presidents Cup.”
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So beyond those who were proactive and already resigned their membership from the tour – Jupiter’s Dustin Johnson, Palm Beach Gardens’ Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia among others – Monahan banned LIV defectors like Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.
And DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, who announced their intentions this week and are expected to play in LIV’s next event June 30-July 2 in Portland.
The memo came as the first event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, teed off in London on Thursday.
None of this should be a surprise to those joining LIV. Every player, from Mickelson, who reportedly is receiving a 200 million signing bonus, to the golfer who finishes last week and receives $ 120,000, knew joining LIV would mean facing the consequences and the hit to their reputations.
Monahan’s ban also applies to all tours sanctioned by the PGA Tour: Korn Ferry, Tour Champions, Tour Canada and Tour Latinoamerica. West Palm Beach’s Chase Koepka joined LIV after failing for six years to gain membership to the PGA Tour. Koepka has made 8,500 this year playing 11 events on the Canada, Korn Ferry and Latinoamerica tours.
For those like Koepka and other struggling golfers who joined LIV, the money outweighs the consequences and any impact to a career that is completely undistinguished.
For others like Jupiter residents Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, their allegiance to the PGA Tour outweighs any financial gain from LIV. Thomas said Wednesday he is “disappointed” with some of those who are leaving the tour and said he wished Johnson “and others would not have done it,” but he accepts it’s a personal decision. As does McIlroy, who reiterated Wednesday “it’s not something that I want to participate in” before adding “any decision that you make in your life that’s purely for money usually doesn’t end up going the right way.”
For others, those discussions with financial advisors and sponsors and agents must have been intense. One of those, Jupiter’s Rickie Fowler, refuses to shut the door on joining LIV.
Fowler, 33, appears a prime candidate to join LIV considering his game has fallen off a cliff in recent years. He’s not won a tournament in the last three years with one top 3 finish in that time, missing nearly 40 percent of the cuts.
Fowler’s world ranking of 145 is as low as it’s been in about a dozen years. He is an alternate for next week’s US Open – which is allowing LIV tour golfers to participate – failing to qualify for the second straight year.
On Monday, Fowler reiterated his desire to continue playing on the PGA Tour but did not rule out joining LIV.
“My plans are to continue playing the PGA Tour right now,” he told Golf Channel. “But I also do think competition is a good thing, always has been. LIV is definitely interesting and intriguing and it’s worth looking at. But, no, I haven’t made any decisions on that and it’s going to be interesting to see kind. of how everything continues to play out. “
Fowler, like the Mickelson and Johnson and Garcia and a handful of others, must weigh the fallout from sponsors. He has a strong relationship with Rocket Mortgage and Farmers Insurance, among others, and some speculate he has earned more money from sponsors than the $ 41 million he’s earned on the course.
Fowler would be a nice addition for LIV considering his popularity, so far, has withstood the decline in his game. But for Fowler, who’s still cashing significant checks, would it be worth the backlash.
Tom D’Angelo is a journalist at the Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: PGA Tour commissioner suspends LIV golfers. What will Rickie Fowler do?