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The PGA Tour is extending its ban on LIV golfers by issuing a memo telling those who left to join the Saudi-backed group that membership ‘cannot and will not be renewed’.
The memo was delivered to the players by letter, Sports Illustrated reports.
“The Tour may not enter into a membership agreement with a player where, as here, it reasonably expects the player will not perform material obligations under that agreement,” the letter read. “As a result, your PGA Tour membership cannot and will not be renewed for the 2022-2023 PGA Tour season.
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LIV Golf has joined an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour that was originally filed by a few LIV golfers. Pat Perez, Carlos Oritiz, Abraham Ancer and Jason Kokrak were among those golfers, but they dropped their lawsuits against the Tour.
Phil Mickelson was among those who took legal action in August, claiming their Tour suspensions were aimed at damaging their careers. Others have filed temporary restraining orders from competing in the FedEx Cup, which they claim they qualified for before joining LIV Golf. A California federal judge denied that injunction.
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In their addendum to the lawsuit, LIV Golf said “the Tour forced him to increase his costs so he could sign players and prevented him from signing others under the threat of a penalty. “.
LIV Golf claims that without a fair decision, its “ability to maintain a meaningful competitive presence in the markets will be destroyed.”
This all comes as LIV Golf hosts its first US event in Boston this weekend. Next weekend, LIV Golf and PGA Tour golfers will play in the same BMW PGA Championship in London, which didn’t sit well with guys like Rory McIlroy.
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“I hate what it does to the game of golf,” McIlroy recently said of LIV Golf. “I hate it. Really. Like it’s going to be hard for me to go to Wentworth in a few weeks and see 18 there. It just doesn’t sit well with me.”
The PGA Tour has made significant changes to its format for next year, including requiring top players to commit to at least 20 events before the start of the new season. They will also have 12 “elevated events” which aim to create bigger purses as golfers leave the PGA Tour for LIV Golf’s guaranteed millions.
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The PGA Tour will also launch a “Winnings Insurance Program,” which will play a guaranteed “league minimum of $500,000 per player.” It will be awarded to fully exempt members who participate in at least 15 events.