PGA Tour suspends all players taking part in first LIV Golf tournament

The PGA Tour has suspended the 17 members who are competing in the inaugural LIV Golf International Series event, it announced Thursday.

Players who resigned their membership before starting the LIV Golf event being held outside London that began Thursday are also no longer eligible to compete in tour events or the Presidents Cup.

Among those now banned from tour events are six-time major champion Phil Mickelson, two-time major champion Dustin Johnson and longtime Ryder Cup participants Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.

"These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wrote in a memo to the tour's membership. "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 wrote that any players who take part in future LIV Golf events will face the same punishment.

Mickelson, asked how he felt about Monahan's memo, paused for 10 seconds as he weighed what he was going to say before answering, "Any PGA Tour matters, I'm not going to discuss it publicly at this time."

Poulter, meanwhile, expressed frustration with the PGA Tour's decision and said he would fight the suspension.

"Of course I'm going to appeal. It makes no sense," Poulter said. "I've always had the ability to play golf all around the world. What's wrong with that? I haven't done anything wrong.

How many which ways do you want to cut that? I've don't know many different events I've played around the world on different circuits. I've played the Asian Tour, the Japanese Tour. I've played in China, in South Africa. I've played everywhere, the game of golf that I love. They're going take that opportunity away? That's disappointing."

The memo said players who compete in LIV events are ineligible to participate on the PGA Tour or any other tours it sanctions, including the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.