The disruptions to world professional golf continue with the news that several of the big name players to tee up in this week’s inaugural LIV Golf Tour event in London have quit the PGA Tour.
Kevin Na was the first to announce his resignation from the PGA Tour which drew a mixed response from golf fans including several suggesting the average time it takes to play a round of golf will now become measurably shorter.
Today, more resignations include Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen.
All three will be playing this week’s Saudi Arabian backed LIV Golf event at The Centurian Club in London and all three were perhaps expecting sanctions from the PGA Tour in one form or another.
But today’s resignations mean they will no longer play on the PGA Tour at all, no matter what the sanctions. It may also mean they are ineligible to play in the majors, President Cup and Ryder Cup.
The Guardian’s Ewan Murray reported on the resignations and the potential reasons for the pre-emptive resignations.
Speaking at a press conference to promote the inaugural LIV Golf event at Centurion Club which begins on Thursday, Johnson said: “The Ryder Cup is unbelievable and has definitely meant a lot to me. Hopefully, I will get a chance to do that again, but I don’t make the rules.”
The widely-held theory is that golfers are seeking to avoid potential penalties from golf’s main tours – that could in theory affect their eligibility to play in major championships – by removing themselves from the member list. Whether such a policy prevails remains to be seen but García’s exit from the PGA Tour, on which he is an 11-time winner and a fan favourite, is notable.
Interestingly, it is believed García, Schwartzel, Oosthuizen and Grace have not taken the same position towards the DP World, formerly European, Tour.