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Phil Mickelson plays 18th during the Pro-Am at Centurion Club, Hertfordshire, ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Steven Paston | PA Images | Getty Images

The PGA Tour has suspended 17 golfers, including major championship winners Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, competing at the Saudi-backed LIV golf event near London on Thursday. The suspensions are indefinite.

Players “did not receive the required conflicting event and media rights release – or did not apply for release at all,” according to one Internal PGA Tour Memos, The memo released on Thursday said the PGA Tour will also suspend future Tour players who play in LIV events.

“These players have made their choice for their own financial reasons,” the memo read. “But they can’t demand the same PGA Tour membership benefits, views, opportunities and platforms as you.”

Mickelson, who just turned 51 A Leading Recruiter for LIV Golf, which is primarily funded by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. He has not participated in any golf tournament since February. His deal with LIV is reportedly worth about $200 million, Johnson’s deal is worth about $125 million, The New York Post reported,

Mickelson is second only to Tiger Woods to win six major golf championships PGA Tour’s Career Money Leader List With approximately $95 million. Johnson is at number three with around $74 million. (Woods declined a major offer to join LIV, according to Greg Norman, another former PGA star who serves as CEO of LIV Golf Investments.)

Norman, Mickelson and others have taken heat for involvement with the venture, despite the Saudi government’s past human rights abuses, including their involvement in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. (A Saudi court sentenced several people to prison for murder.) in FebruaryMickelson told his biographer that he believed being involved with the Saudis was “scary,” but added that there were other factors at play.

Read PGA Tour Memos Here,

“They kill people out there for being gay. Knowing all this, why would I believe it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates,” he said at the time. .

Mickelson did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Johnson said he had no comment.

Regarding whether players would be able to join the tour later, the PGA Tour memo said: “Trust us we are prepared to deal with those questions and we will approach them the same way we have this whole process: to be By being transparent and respecting the PGA Tour rules you helped establish.”

LIV Golf called the decision “retaliatory” in a statement and said it “deepens the divide between the Tour and its members.”

“It’s troubling that the Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is an organization preventing golfers from playing. This certainly isn’t the last word on the subject. The era of free agency is about to begin. We are proud to have a whole field of players joining us in London and beyond,” the organization said.

The LIV event is the first of eight scheduled tournaments in England. Five of them are scheduled for the United States, including two on courses owned by former President Donald Trump.

Here is the list of players. Asterisks indicate players who have already informed the PGA Tour that they are resigning from their membership. can you read Full internal memo here.

  • Sergio Garcia*
  • talor gooch
  • Brandon Grace*
  • Dustin Johnson*
  • Matt Jones
  • Martin Kemmer*
  • Graeme McDowell*
  • Phil Mickelson
  • kevin no*
  • Andy Ogletree
  • Louis Osthuizen*
  • Turk Petit*
  • Ian Poulter
  • Charl Schwartzel*
  • Hudson Swaford
  • peter uhlein
  • Lee Westwood*



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