LIV golfers suspended by PGA hint at taking future legal action

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Golfers suspended by the PGA due to their participation in the breakaway Saudi LIV series have hinted they will pursue legal action in response to the decision.

As reported by Golf Digest, former US Open champion Graeme McDowell has insisted that players have spoken to lawyers and feel they shouldn’t be put in a situation where they have to resign from their PGA Tour membership.

‘I have spoken to some players,’ he revealed. ‘We have spoken to the lawyers. We have the LIV legal team which is fantastic. We have our own legal team. 

‘Some players have decided to resign and try to stay away from any litigation. But some guys believe they shouldn’t be in the situation where they have to resign. They don’t feel like they are doing anything wrong.’

McDowell resigned his PGA Tour membership just 30 minutes before teeing-off on Thursday.

Ian Poulter, is one of those who feel that he should not resign from the tour and unlike McDowell, has not yet done so.

Graeme McDowell says players have spoken to lawyers over the PGA Tour's decision to suspend members who are taking part in the breakaway Saudi LIV series event this week

Graeme McDowell says players have spoken to lawyers over the PGA Tour’s decision to suspend members who are taking part in the breakaway Saudi LIV series event this week

A statement by PGA commissioner Jay Monahan was released before the event got underway

Dustin Johnson (left) is among those to resign from their PGA membership while Phil Mickelson (right) who hopes to play at the US Open has not offered his resignation to the Tour

Dustin Johnson (left) is among those to resign from their PGA membership while Phil Mickelson (right) who hopes to play at the US Open has not offered his resignation to the Tour

He said: ‘I don’t feel like I’ve done anything wrong. I’ve played all over the world for 25 years. I’ve played a lot outside continental Europe. 

‘This event is no different; it’s the same. I have committed to play just as I have done around the world. It’s a shame if they view this as something that is different. I will appeal for sure. 

‘Of course, I’m going to appeal. It makes no sense. I’ve played the game all this time with two tour cards that gave me the ability to play all over the world. What’s wrong with that?’

McDowell says some players feel they shouldn’t have to resign and have done nothing wrong

Ian Poulter has not offered his resignation to the PGA but has vowed to appeal the decision

Ian Poulter has not offered his resignation to the PGA but has vowed to appeal the decision

The PGA Tour dramatically crashed the opening day of the Saudi breakaway series by immediately suspending its defectors in a major escalation of golf’s civil war on Thursday.

In an explosive letter to PGA members, sent within half an hour of the first tee shots at Centurion Club in St Albans, Tour commissioner Jay Monahan declared that 17 players, including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Poulter, McDowell and Sergio Garcia, would be banned from their events indefinitely. 

The same punishment will apply to players who enter future LIV competitions, with Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed expected to join in the coming weeks. LIV responded by calling the Tour ‘vindictive’.

Monahan’s letter read: ‘Participation in the Saudi Golf League/LIV Golf event is in violation of our tournament regulations. These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons. 

A statement from the LIV series led by Greg Norman (right) said the announcement from the PGA Tour was 'vindictive' and 'deepens the divide between the Tour and its members'

A statement from the LIV series led by Greg Norman (right) said the announcement from the PGA Tour was ‘vindictive’ and ‘deepens the divide between the Tour and its members’

‘I am certain our fans and partners — who are surely tired of all this talk of money, money and more money — will continue to be entertained and compelled by the world-class competition you display each and every week, where there are true consequences for every shot you take and your rightful place in history whenever you reach that elusive winner’s circle.

‘(The Tour’s) legacy can’t be bought or sold.’

As well as McDowell, Johnson, Martin Kaymer, McDowell, Garcia, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Na, Charl Schwartzel and Westwood — had moved to nullify the impact of the expected sanctions by resigning their PGA Tour membership in advance of the LIV opener at Centurion.

Sergio Garcia (left) chose to resign, but Poulter (right) has simply had his membership revoked

Sergio Garcia (left) chose to resign, but Poulter (right) has simply had his membership revoked

Dustin Johnson (L) shakes hands with Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf Investments, before teeing off in Round 1 of the LIV Golf Invitational Series at the Centurion Golf Club in St Albans

Dustin Johnson (L) shakes hands with Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf Investments, before teeing off in Round 1 of the LIV Golf Invitational Series at the Centurion Golf Club in St Albans

Dustin Johnson of the US during Round 1 of the LIV Golf Invitational at the Centurion Golf Club

Dustin Johnson of the US during Round 1 of the LIV Golf Invitational at the Centurion Golf Club

The LIV series led by Greg Norman hit out with a statement that read: ‘The announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members. 

‘It’s troubling that the Tour, an organisation dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing. This certainly is not the last word on this topic.’

The US Open have said those in the LIV series field will remain eligible, but longer term it has not been stated how the different organisers of the quartet — Augusta National, the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A — will respond to players siding with LIV Golf.

Likewise the DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour, have remained silent on their own stance to the rebels.

Westwood and Poulter admitted on Wednesday that they do not know if they will ever again feature in the Ryder Cup.

Dustin Johnson jumped before others as he confirmed his resignation on Tuesday

Dustin Johnson jumped before others as he confirmed his resignation on Tuesday

Former world No 1 Johnson jumped before others have now been pushed as he confirmed he had resigned from the PGA Tour on Tuesday. 

Johnson said: ‘Obviously at this time it’s hard to speak on what the consequences will be, but for right now, I’ve resigned my membership from the PGA Tour. 

‘I’m going to play here for now, and that’s the plan. Majors, again I can’t answer for them, but hopefully they are going to allow us to play. 

‘Obviously I’m exempt for the majors so I plan on playing there unless I hear otherwise.’ 

Mickelson, who still hopes to play in the US Open, and DeChambeau both insisted they had not offered their resignations to the PGA Tour, prior to day one of the LIV Invitational Series, but that was deemed irrelevant due to the PGA’s announcement.

A bombshell letter from the PGA Tour announced that all defecting members to rebel Saudi Invitational series have been suspended, in a huge shake-up for golf's biggest names

A bombshell letter from the PGA Tour announced that all defecting members to rebel Saudi Invitational series have been suspended, in a huge shake-up for golf’s biggest names

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