Former PGA Tour players who have switched to LIV Golf have been informed that they are ineligible to have their tour memberships renewed for the 2022-23 season, which is set to begin in two weeks.
Although a number of LIV golfers, including Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed, have already resigned from the tour, there are 22 players, including Phil Mickelson and Bryon DeChambeau, who did not formally or voluntarily give up their PGA Tour memberships. Those players received letters stating, “The Tour cannot enter into a membership agreement with a player when, as here, it reasonably anticipates the player will not perform the material obligations under that agreement. Accordingly, your PGA Tour membership cannot and will not be renewed for the 2022-2023 season.”
All tour members who signed with LIV Golf and played in a LIV event have been given suspensions by the tour for failing to obtain releases from conflicting events as required by the tour’s rules. Additionally, Mickelson was given an earlier suspension for recruiting players to LIV Golf, and received added time to that suspension for playing in the first two LIV Golf events.
Eleven suspended players filed an antitrust lawsuit against the tour in August protesting against their suspensions, although four of those have since withdrawn their names from the suit. Mickelson, who is one of the players who has remained in the lawsuit, has asserted that because his lifetime membership was earned and that it shouldn’t be taken away. A date for summary judgment has been set for July 23, 2023, where the tour is likely seek to dismiss the antitrust case, with a trial date expected to begin on January 8, 2024.
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