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LIV Golf updates: Suspensions, participant rumors, media dust-ups as play begins in London – Golf.com

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Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman on the conclusion of his Thursday spherical.
Getty Photos
Golf information tends to come back in a gradual trickle. This week? The fireplace hydrant in your road has exploded. There’s golf information taking pictures in each route! The panorama {of professional} golf is altering in actual time. Guys are becoming a member of LIV. They’re resigning from the PGA Tour. Ditching the Ryder Cup. Golf’s greatest organizations are releasing their responses. And extra is coming.
Learn how to make sense of it? Learn on! We’ve bought you lined. (Immediately’s information is under, with earlier days’ occasions slotted under that.)
Among the many greatest questions related to LIV’s debut was how and when the PGA Tour would reply to gamers formally teeing it up in an unsanctioned, unapproved occasion.
They didn’t have to attend lengthy. A launch from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan got here by way of as the professionals had been on their second holes on Thursday and Monahan didn’t mince phrases: The Tour gamers within the LIV discipline had been instantly suspended from taking part in any PGA Tour occasions. The length of their suspensions was not instantly clear.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan despatched the next to Tour gamers relating to participation in LIV Golf. pic.twitter.com/DeHajwkYfP
“These gamers have made their alternative for their very own financial-based causes,” the assertion reads. “I do know you’re with us, and vice versa. Our companions are with us, too. The truth that your former TOUR colleagues can’t say the identical must be telling.”
There was a listing of suspended execs on the backside of the letter:
Sergio Garcia
Talor Gooch
Branden Grace
Dustin Johnson
Matt Jones
Martin Kaymer
Graeme McDowell
Phil Mickelson
Kevin Na
Andy Ogletree
Louis Oosthuizen
Turk Pettit
Ian Poulter
Charl Schwartzel
Hudson Swafford
Peter Uihlein
Lee Westwood
Of these, all however Gooch, Jones, Mickelson, Ogletree, Poulter, Swafford and Uihlein have resigned their PGA Tour memberships.
It didn’t take quite a lot of minutes for LIV to problem a response, calling the PGA Tour’s choice “vindictive” and “troubling” and including that this “definitely isn’t the final phrase on this subject.” See extra under (and skim extra right here):
Official assertion from LIV Golf pic.twitter.com/UBt4DpRdS4
On the RBC Canadian Open, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas reacted to the suspensions.
McIlroy was no-nonsense in his strategy. “I feel at this level, Jay’s been fairly clear by way of he’s simply going to behave throughout the event rules and the foundations which are set for a PGA Tour member,” McIlroy mentioned. “All he’s doing is mainly going by the ebook.
Mentioned Thomas: “I’m happy. I feel anyone that’s shocked clearly hasn’t been listening to the message that Jay and all people’s been placing out. They took that danger going into it, whether or not they thought it was a danger or not.”
Thomas added that it’s clear LIV has discovered the important thing to his friends’ loyalty by way of their wallets.
“They’re clearly throwing a lot cash at those that it’s very arduous to show down,” he mentioned. “I don’t care what you say by way of ‘individuals play for various causes.’ It doesn’t matter who you’re or what it’s; every part has a quantity. They’re reaching that quantity for some individuals, and I hope that they don’t get others. However I feel a really sturdy core group of us could be very secure and agency in our place, and I hope that it stays that means.”
McIlroy added that he’ll test it out.
“Yeah, in fact I’ll see it and watch it and see what all of the fuss is about.”
Take into account it aggressive analysis. You may learn extra right here.
The shotgun begin, cabbies and all, went off with solely minor hitches. There was a brand new F1-style scoreboard. The occasion was streamed on YouTube, Fb, on LIV’s web site and thru numerous different apps. I had the YouTube stream on and noticed it peak at simply over 100,000 concurrent viewers. That appeared surprisingly excessive to me, though once I tweeted precisely that an entire bunch of individuals pushed again to inform me that in truth that was a really low quantity. I’ll allow you to determine for your self.
Phil Mickelson on the primary tee throughout LIV’s debut.
Getty Photos
Charl Schwartzel leads at 5 underneath par. Phil Mickelson shot one underneath. The on-the-ground authority on all issues LIV was Mr. Sean Zak, who wrote this on website:
It didn’t take lengthy to comprehend the transgressions that despatched Mickelson right into a hiatus earlier this yr had been utterly forgiven by the followers on website. He acquired the loudest ovation all over the place he went. A whole bunch crowded across the first tee, half-hour forward of his arrival.
You may learn the remainder of his piece right here.
LIV’s promo video, narrated by Dennis Quaid (props if he was in your LIV bingo card) included pictures of its London rivals plus, curiously, Matthew Wolff and Bubba Watson. There have been so many names tossed round that we’d cease in need of guaranteeing something, however their inclusion was definitely noteworthy given no different pictures or personalities appeared to be in there by chance.
Embedding the long run commits in a teaser for at present is actually kinda sick https://t.co/eHGKgo0XCl pic.twitter.com/IS5DQTnr1o
Alan Shipnuck, creator of “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colourful Celebrity,” was “bodily eliminated” from Mickelson’s post-round press convention. Shipnuck was credentialed to be on the occasion however was blocked from Mickelson’s remarks by a number of males as LIV CEO Greg Norman seemed on from behind him (see video under.)
Right here's a snippet of video of @AlanShipnuck getting faraway from Phil Mickelson's post-round interview this night on the LIV occasion exterior of London. Not proven: one of many safety guards twice placing fingers on Alan, who on each events mentioned, "Don’t contact me." Video by @CNN https://t.co/zQRTKfUNwd pic.twitter.com/r5jj0ysibe
James Corrigan of The Telegraph corroborated Shipnuck’s account.
“This complete state of affairs is messy and ridiculous,” Shipnuck advised Golfweek by way of e mail. “If I’ve one other boring golf query for Phil I’ll ask it as a result of I did fly 6,000 miles to be right here and I’m not inclined to be silenced by Greg Norman and his goons.”
It’s the second time this week that safety have clashed with journalists after the Related Press’ Rob Harris was led away from the media middle on Tuesday.
Attention-grabbing sidenote: the USGA launched its press convention listing for subsequent week’s U.S. Open and Phil Mickelson is first man up. We’ll see if and the way the USGA handles his appearances otherwise.
I recorded a Drop Zone podcast with Kevin Clark, senior author for The Ringer, who helped break down the most recent LIV revelations, walked me by way of what golf can study from System 1, dished on his unsuccessful golf playing formulation and made a slew of F1-driver-to-professional-golfer crossover comparisons (assume Rickie Fowler-Daniel Ricciardo). You may hear on Spotify or Apple Podcasts or within the embed under.
Our Sean Zak was in attendance for Mickelson’s Wednesday morning press convention. He reviews that Mickelson got here sporting stubble, all black and only a single brand: his personal.
Right here’s an excerpt from Zak’s piece:
Seated subsequent to his teammates — three college students auditing Cautious Solutions 101 — Mickelson was methodical. He typically paused after listening to a query, structuring his ideas for 5 or 6 seconds earlier than sharing them. He even interrupted a two-part query, asking that he obtain only one query at a time. It was, each in transcript and in visible type, paying homage to a deposition.
🗣️ "I perceive individuals could disagree with my choice."

Phil Mickelson speaks on the Centurion Membership on his choice to play within the LIV Golf Collection. pic.twitter.com/bgxcd6cd16
Mickelson was largely mum on matters pertaining to the PGA Tour; he declined to say whether or not he was suspended, though he did reiterate his intention to maintain his lifetime membership.
Mickelson additionally addressed his main championship plans. He mentioned he voluntarily skipped the Masters and watched from his home in Montana after snowboarding every morning. He added that he may have performed the PGA Championship however selected to not defend his title. And he intends to tee it up in subsequent week’s U.S. Open.
On Wednesday morning the Day by day Telegraph reported that an announcement is “imminent” introducing Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed as LIV’s newest members. Their first look is predicted to come back at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Ore. Like most different huge names related to LIV, their contracts will span a number of years.
DeChambeau’s agent confirmed his participation:
Bryson's agent says he's joined LIV & will play its subsequent occasion: "Bryson has all the time been an innovator. Having the chance to get in on the bottom ground of one thing distinctive had all the time been intriguing to him. Skilled golf as we all know it’s altering & it's occurring rapidly."
Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter had been requested whether or not they’d play a event hosted by Vladimir Putin. They every sidestepped the query.
🗣️ "If Vladimir Putin had a event, would you play that?"

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood refuse to reply questions on whether or not there’s anyplace on this planet they wouldn't play. pic.twitter.com/v9WkEYvDoy
Justin Thomas addressed the media from the RBC Canadian Open on Wednesday morning and tried to search out some center floor.
“I don’t dislike D.J. now,” he mentioned. “I don’t assume he’s a foul dude. I’m not going to deal with him any otherwise. It’s like, he’s entitled to decide on as he needs.
“And I feel that the day and age that we reside in now, it’s simply so unfavorable that you just see it in every part. Sport, politics, no matter it’s, it’s like when you disagree with somebody you simply really feel that you just’re entitled to love, hate them and speak unhealthy about them and simply bash their choice, when all people’s entitled to their very own opinion, you realize what I imply?
“Like I mentioned, it doesn’t make him a foul individual. Now I’m disillusioned and I want that he and others wouldn’t have carried out it, however that’s their choice. I’ve mentioned all of it alongside, it’s like guys can do as they need. In the event that they wish to go they will go, in the event that they wish to keep they will keep.”
🗣️ "I do know the PGA Tour is the most effective place to play on this planet"

Justin Thomas shares his ideas on gamers leaving the PGA Tour to hitch the LIV Golf Collection 👇 pic.twitter.com/QZFmJzrRTu
Rory McIlroy had a press convention after his pro-am spherical on the RBC Canadian Open, too. He was solely requested one-and-a-half questions on LIV however reiterated his disinterest in becoming a member of the breakaway league.
“I feel my stance on it has been fairly clear from the beginning. It’s not one thing that I wish to take part in. I definitely perceive the blokes which have went. I perceive what their targets and their ambitions are of their life. I’m definitely not knocking anybody for going. It’s their life, it’s their choice, they will reside it the way in which they wish to.
“However for me I wish to play on the PGA Tour towards the most effective gamers on this planet. And I feel for me, talking to some individuals yesterday and one of many feedback was, something, any choice that you just make in your life that’s purely for cash often doesn’t find yourself going the appropriate means. Clearly cash is a deciding consider a number of issues on this world, but when it’s purely for cash, it by no means appears to go the way in which you need it to.
“And I’ve had that earlier than a few occasions in my life and there’s different issues which are part of it too. But it surely’s a bizarre time in skilled golf, and I mentioned it a pair weeks in the past, we’re simply going to need to see how this season performs out and if every other guys determine to go one other route than the established excursions, I suppose, and see what the, I suppose see what the implications are.”
"Any choice you make in your life that's purely for cash, often doesn't find yourself going the appropriate means." — Rory McIlroy@McIlroyRory and different PGA TOUR execs react to the information coming from the LIV Golf Invitational Collection this week. pic.twitter.com/kxaezye86f
With LIV, you by no means fairly know the names that’ll pop up. Certain sufficient, there was former White Home press secretary Ari Fleischer moderating press conferences on Tuesday.
Not all went easily. Related Press journalist Rob Harris was escorted out of the media middle after a kerfuffle close to the tip of a press convention. Within the earlier presser he’d requested Graeme McDowell what he considered LIV’s position as doing PR for the Saudi authorities given its report on human rights. You may see how that went down:
Getting ready for the Saudi golf sequence launch, Graeme McDowell talked about golf being a drive for good. I requested how the sovereign wealth funded sequence will assist those that have been killed, oppressed and suffered by Saudi actions.https://t.co/lLxnCCQsqm pic.twitter.com/rtDaetqnG1
Context: LIV halted this second presser (not the identical McDowell was in) 25mins into the introduced 30-min slot after already calling on a reporter for a 2nd query.

It's clear I'm heard not even attempting to ask about Saudi Arabia for this Q however a extra technical PGA Tour level https://t.co/iwTdknALsF
A number of of the gamers had been requested about sportswashing, together with Talor Gooch, who adopted the lead of others suggesting that was exterior his space of experience:
Talor Gooch mentioned he didn't agree that LIV Golf was a participant in sportswashing. "I don't assume that's honest. Additionally … I'm a golfer. I'm not that sensible. I attempt to hit a golf ball right into a small gap. Golf is tough sufficient. I attempt to fear about golf, and I'm excited bout this week."
In his first media look since becoming a member of LIV, Dustin Johnson introduced that he was resigning his PGA Tour membership.
“At the moment it’s arduous to talk on what the implications will probably be, however for proper now I resigned my membership from the Tour,” Johnson mentioned. “I’m going to play right here, you realize, for now. That’s the plan. What the implications will probably be, clearly I can’t touch upon how the Tour’s going to deal with.” 
BREAKING🚨: Dustin Johnson RESIGNS from the PGA Tour

The golfer is now ineligible to play within the Ryder Cup. pic.twitter.com/LLmlmIDKmF
He was removed from the one one: The Related Press reported that Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel had every already resigned their membership. Kevin Na took to Twitter to clarify his personal choice.
This was a really tough choice for me. I hope my followers will proceed to help me wherever I select to play. Thanks. pic.twitter.com/3Vp2e7cPfH
There are potential benefits to resigning membership — the PGA Tour has larger say over what its members can and can’t do — however not each LIV participant had carried out so. Mickelson, who’s a lifetime PGA Tour member, advised Sports activities Illustrated he isn’t giving his up.
“I labored actually arduous to earn that lifetime membership,” he mentioned. “And I’m hopeful that I’ll have the flexibility to play wherever I need, the place it’s the PGA Tour, LIV or wherever else I need.”
Among the many greatest questions surrounding gamers departing the Tour was their potential to take part in main championships. That is the place issues get difficult; whereas the PGA Tour doesn’t really run any of golf’s 4 grandest occasions, it has shut alliances with the 4 our bodies that do: Augusta Nationwide, the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A.
The U.S. Open is subsequent week, so the USGA’s reply got here first and it got here within the type of an announcement on Tuesday primarily outlining that as a result of it considers itself the “most open championship on this planet,” it might not block any LIV participant who was already certified from taking part.
“Relating to gamers who could select to play in London this week, we merely requested ourselves this query — ought to a participant who had earned his means into the 2022 U.S. Open, by way of our revealed discipline standards, be pulled out of the sphere on account of his choice to play in one other occasion? And we in the end determined that they need to not,” the assertion continued.
“Our choice relating to our discipline for the 2022 U.S. Open shouldn’t be construed because the USGA supporting an alternate organizing entity, nor supportive of any particular person participant actions or feedback. Moderately, it’s merely a response as to whether or not the USGA views enjoying in an alternate occasion, with out the consent of their residence tour, an offense that ought to disqualify them for the U.S. Open.”
Coincidentally we had USGA CEO Mike Whan on the Drop Zone podcast only a couple days earlier than this all went down; he spoke to LIV’s tenuous future and outlined why he thinks it faces challenges.
“I haven’t heard about one TV deal, I haven’t heard about one title sponsor, I haven’t heard about one revenue-generating factor. And that’s nice, it may be a extremely cool payday for a couple of guys for some time. However for me to consider this will probably be round long-term … it’s going to need to be a enterprise.”
I requested USGA CEO Mike Whan what he considered LIV. Lengthy reply, however he's skeptical of its future. Right here's what he mentioned on the Drop Zone:

(Hearken to the complete interview! https://t.co/suYzWPHqro) pic.twitter.com/i3TbaK9ZMa
You may hearken to that full interview on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify or on the embed under.
The USGA assertion appeared to depart open the chance that standards might be modified sooner or later. There are a number of excellent questions that may issue into gamers’ {qualifications} for majors, together with LIV’s standing within the eyes of the Official World Golf Rating, execs’ standing with the PGA Tour and DP World Excursions and, nicely, there are a number of shifting components. However the LIV execs certain appear resigned to no matter awaits.
“I can’t reply for the majors, however hopefully they’re going to permit us to play,” Johnson mentioned. “Clearly, I’m exempt for the majors, so I plan on enjoying there, until I hear in any other case.”
We hadn’t seen Mickelson within the public eye for the reason that Saudi Worldwide in February. He made his return at LIV’s draft get together with some stubble and a leather-based jacket:
Phil Mickelson is again within the public eye and appears typically stunned to be right here pic.twitter.com/l7Vsq3jrvN
Right here’s the vibe from the draft, which was hosted by Shane O’Donoghue and Kirsty Gallacher:
Historical past: Made ✅@BWiesberger.

The primary ever #LIVGolf draft decide! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Ba4yxPYSVb
And listed here are the draft outcomes:
The outcomes from the inaugural LIV Golf draft are in – as are the group names that are … fascinating.

Aussie Wade Ormsby among the many captains. pic.twitter.com/rAOj9m8wma
After months of hypothesis, Phil Mickelson formally joined LIV. The announcement got here with an announcement that was half apology, half reflection and half announcement.
pic.twitter.com/riT2ot0yvk
Mickelson additionally opened up in a Sports activities Illustrated interview during which he revealed his intentions to play all eight LIV occasions in 2022 in addition to the remaining majors (the U.S. Open and Open Championship). He stayed huge image along with his regrets, referencing “a number of errors” with out stepping into specifics. He brushed rapidly previous the issues his critics have about partnering up with the Saudi Arabian authorities, which is funding LIV. However there was one space he volunteered freely: his personal playing previous.
Harig requested Mickelson if his choice to play LIV (and obtain a reported nine-figure deal to take action) got here on account of “monetary difficulties.” Mickelson mentioned it hadn’t — however he went out of his approach to acknowledge that he’d struggled with playing and habit nonetheless.
“My playing bought to some extent of being reckless and embarrassing,” he mentioned. “I needed to deal with it. And I’ve been addressing it for plenty of years. And for lots of of hours of remedy. I really feel good the place I’m at there. My household and I are and have been financially safe for a while.
“Playing has been a part of my life ever since I can bear in mind,” he added. “However a few decade in the past is once I would say it grew to become reckless. It’s embarrassing. I don’t like that individuals know. The actual fact is I’ve been coping with it for a while. Amy has been very supportive of it and with me and the method. We’re at a spot after a few years the place I really feel snug with the place that’s. It isn’t a menace to me or my monetary safety. It was simply plenty of poor choices.”
The league hasn’t secured a broadcast TV deal and its present plans are to stream LIV occasions by way of Fb and YouTube. On Monday they introduced the voices behind these plans
Longtime Premier League lead voice Arlo White will function lead commentator. The 49-year-old Brit, who additionally serves as the published voice of Emmy-winning Apple TV present “Ted Lasso,” doesn’t have a background calling golf.
He’ll be joined by a group of analysts that features Golf Channel’s longtime LPGA presence Jerry Foltz, who left the community simply forward of final week’s U.S. Ladies’s Open. Dom Boulet, a former Asian Tour pro-turned-commentator, will be part of them within the sales space. Former lengthy drive champ Troy Mullins and former professional Su-Ann Heng are among the many on-course reporters.
You may learn extra in regards to the broadcast right here.
This got here by way of Greg Norman in a Washington Submit profile. Within the interview, LIV’s CEO advised the Submit the 15-time main champion refused an “monumental” provide to hitch.
From the Submit story: The tour’s advisor additionally pitched representatives for Woods, who as soon as staged his personal public coup with the PGA Tour over advertising and marketing rights. Norman says Woods turned down a deal that was “mind-blowingly monumental; we’re speaking about excessive 9 digits.”
Excessive-nine digits! I’ll allow you to parse out precisely what meaning. But it surely feels like some huge cash.
On Tuesday, Woods introduced that he wouldn’t be enjoying in subsequent week’s U.S. Open, writing that his physique “wants extra time to get stronger for main championship golf.” He’s planning to make his return on the JP McManus Professional-Am after which play the Open Championship.
I beforehand knowledgeable the USGA that I can’t be competing within the @usopengolf as my physique wants extra time to get stronger for main championship golf. I do hope and plan to be able to play in Eire at @JPProAm and at @TheOpen subsequent month. I’m excited to get again on the market quickly!
What does that need to do with LIV? Loads, however solely not directly. Woods received’t need to reply questions on the topic. Golf’s nationwide consideration received’t be cut up between Tigermania and LIV’s penalties. As a substitute, these coming from London’s LIV occasions will bear the brunt of the scrutiny at America’s nationwide championship.
Keep tuned — we’ll hold you up to date as golf information continues to flood the streets.

Dylan Dethier is a senior author for GOLF Journal/GOLF.com. The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a 2014 graduate of Williams School, the place he majored in English, and he’s the creator of 18 in America, which particulars the yr he spent as an 18-year-old residing from his automotive and enjoying a spherical of golf in each state.
GOLF.com and GOLF Journal are revealed by EB GOLF MEDIA LLC, a division of 8AM GOLF

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