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PGA Tour denies releases to players looking to compete in inaugural LIV event in London next month

The PGA Tour has denied releases to the gamers seeking to play within the first occasion of the Saudi Arabian-financed LIV Golf Invitational Sequence, in accordance with a memo obtained by ESPN.

The debut match, set to happen in London from June Sep 11, coincides with the PGA Tour’s RBC Canadian Open that week. Consequently, PGA Tour gamers must be granted a launch from the tour to compete within the LIV match.

The expectation was that the PGA Tour would grant releases to gamers, much like ones it is given for different worldwide occasions, however that will not be the case, because the tour notified its gamers by way of a memo Tuesday.

“We have now notified those that have utilized that their request has been declined in accordance with the PGA Tour Event Laws. As such, Tour members usually are not licensed to take part within the Saudi Golf League’s London occasion below our rules,” the memo learn. “As a membership group, we consider this determination is in one of the best curiosity of the PGA Tour and its gamers.”

Previously, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan threatened gamers with suspensions and/or lifetime bans in the event that they competed within the LIV Golf collection with out releases.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman instructed ESPN final week that he had gamers registered who have been keen to problem the PGA Tour’s place in courtroom.

“I can solely converse on info given to me by our authorized workforce, and I’ve an especially proficient authorized workforce in antitrust and anti-competitive legal guidelines, and we consider we’re in the proper place,” Norman mentioned. “We consider the gamers are unbiased contractors and have a proper to go play wherever they wish to go play.”

The eight-event LIV collection will function 4 tournaments performed in the USA. It would embrace seven regular-season occasions and a workforce championship match play finale at Trump Doral in Miami from Oct. 28-30.

The second Saudi occasion is scheduled for July 1-3 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Membership in Portland, Oregon. Could 17 is the deadline for requesting a launch from the tour for that occasion.

It was anticipated that releases may be granted for abroad occasions, however not for tournaments within the U.S.

“Portland will in all probability be an fascinating beachhead for participant releases and those that wish to come play,” Norman mentioned final week. “However irrespective, it should occur. Portland will happen. The identical with Trump Bedminster, the Worldwide, Wealthy Harvest Farms and Trump Doral. It is all going to occur.”

Phil Mickelson is among the many gamers who had sought a launch to play within the London occasion, his longtime agent, Steve Loy of Sportfive, mentioned final month. Longtime PGA Tour members Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia have additionally confirmed that they requested releases from the tour.

Norman instructed ESPN final week that greater than 200 gamers had registered for the primary occasion, together with about 15 of the highest 100 within the Official World Golf Rating.

Norman mentioned he had tried to work with the PGA Tour, however Monahan hadn’t been keen to take action.

“For the PGA Tour to say we’re a breakaway league is totally fallacious,” Norman mentioned. “We’re not a breakaway tour, we’re an additive to the ecosystem of the sport of golf. To solid this animus towards me [is wrong]. It goes to different establishments as nicely. Simply because I am very blessed and lucky sufficient to be the CEO of this chance to develop the sport of golf, do not goal me for particular stuff and causes. That is loopy.”