The European Tour on Friday banned golfers who competed in the Saudi-backed Breakaway LIV series from three upcoming tournaments, including the Scottish Open, and fined them $120,000.
The tour said all players who competed in the inaugural LIV event in England this month would be suspended from the Scottish Open, Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship. All three of these events are co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the PGA, which has suspended players who competed in LIV. They were also fined £100,000 (US$123,000).
There could be “further sanctions” if the players continue to compete in the LIV without authorization, the European Tour said. The next of eight LIV events will be held June 30-July 2 in Portland, Oregon.
The penalty imposed by the European tour is little more than the minimum prize money in LIV. The last of the 48 players paid out $120,000 at the opening event at the Centurion course near London – the richest golf tournament in the history. Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who resigned from the PGA Tour, took home $4 million for winning the event and an additional $750,000 for being part of the winning team.
“Many members I’ve spoken to over the past few weeks have expressed the view that those who have taken this route have not only disregarded them and our tour, but also the performance-based ecosystem of professional golf that underpins our The last half of the game has been a century and it will be the foundation on which we build for the next 50 years,” said Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour.
“Your actions are not fair to the majority of our members and undermine the tour, which is why we are taking the actions announced today.”
Money from the fines will be split between charity and the increase in prize money, the tour said.
The Scottish Open starts on July 7th and has a total prize pool of US$8 million. The same week’s Barbasol Championship in Kentucky and the following week’s Barracuda Championship in California each offer a total of $3.7 million.
Four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka was announced ahead of him on the Scottish Open entry list earlier this month decided to join the LIV series, although he has yet to compete in the Saudi-sponsored events.
The announcement of the European tour came while some players signed to LIV were playing at one of their own events. Some of the European Tour’s most notable players took to the court at Friday’s BMW International Open, including Major winners Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer. They all played at the first LIV event in England.
Associated Press coverage
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