The PGA Tour today announced the severe consequences of its members deciding to test the LIV Golf waters and compete on the new Saudi-funded professional golf tour.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said today that each of the 17 Tour members playing this week in London in LIV Golf’s inaugural event has been suspended from competing in Tour-sanctioned tournaments.
“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons,” Monahan wrote in a memo to members. “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. You have made a different choice, which is to abide by the Tournament Regulations you agreed to when you accomplished the dream of earning a PGA TOUR card and — more importantly — to compete as part of the preeminent organization in the world of professional golf,” Monahan continued.
Dustin Johnson, ranked 15th in the current Official World Golf Rankings, is the top-ranked golfer to jump the Tour for LIV Golf. DJ, the 2016 US Open and 2020 Masters winner, resigned his PGA Tour membership in announcing his plans to play full-time on the LIV Golf circuit.
US Open Unimpacted
The PGA Tour is in Canada this week for the RBC Canadian Open. But golf oddsmakers are more heavily focused on next week’s US Open. While the PGA Tour is suspending its 17 members playing in the LIV Golf Invitational London, the USGA — which organizes and runs the US Open — said those players exempt for golf’s third major of the year will be allowed to participate.
“Regarding players who may choose to play in London this week, we simply asked ourselves this question: should a player who had earned his way into the 2022 US Open, via our published field criteria, be pulled out of the field as a result of his decision to play in another event? And we ultimately decided that they should not,” a USGA statement explained.
That means odds for the US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Ma., will not be affected. Johnson remains a betting front-runner at 30/1 to win his second national championship.
Other LIV players who will play in the US Open include Phil Mickelson (250/1), Sergio Garcia (150/1), Talor Gooch (125/1), and Lee Westwood (125/1). World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler has the shortest US Open odds at 12/1.
More Defectors Expected
The PGA Tour’s suspension announcement of those competing in LIV Golf comes as several more high-profile names are expected to announce their participation in future LIV events.
The list is highlighted by 2020 US Open champ Bryson DeChambeau and 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed. DeChambeau is at 50/1 to win the US Open. Reed is at 60/1.
Legal sportsbooks in the US opened up lines ahead of today’s first of three-round LIV Golf London Invitational. Johnson is the betting front-runner at 5/1.
BetMGM says 26% of the money wagered on the opening LIV tournament is on DJ. He’s also on more than 17% of the ticket slips to create the book’s largest liability.
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