The PGA Tour has informed the organizers of the Japan Golf Tour that any of its members who participated in LIV Golf Collection occasions this 12 months or LIV Golf Tour occasions through the 2022-23 season can be barred from competing in PGA Tour-run tournaments, together with the Zozo Championship and the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Match.
The transfer helps clarify why all 4 of the Japanese gamers who competed within the final LIV Golf Invitational Collection occasion in New Jersey usually are not on this week’s discipline outdoors of Boston.
Yuki Inamori, Ryosuke Kinoshita, Jinichiro Kozuma and Hideto Tanihara had performed at Trump Bedminster in July and shaped an all-Japanese group.
Sports activities Illustrated obtained a replica of the letter the Japan Golf Tour despatched to its members this week. Within the letter, the JGTO quotes correspondence with the PGA Tour which explains the choice.
Any gamers who participated in LIV Golf occasions so far “stay ineligible for all occasions throughout all PGA Tour sanctioned excursions by way of the tip of the calendar 12 months, together with the Zozo Championship,’’ based on the letter.
Right here is the letter:
The PGA Tour’s place was introduced when LIV Golf launched in June. In a letter despatched by commissioner Jay Monahan, those that participated within the first occasion have been deemed “not eligible to take part in PGA Tour event play, together with the Presidents Cup.” Monahan additional said, “The identical destiny holds true for another gamers who take part in future Saudi Golf League occasions in violation of our rules.” Monahan later added, “To be clear, these gamers won’t be permitted to play in PGA Tour tournaments as a non-member through a sponsor exemption or another eligibility class.”
Inamori, ranked ninetieth on this planet, Kinoshita, ranked 119th and Kozuma, ranked 134th, all competed within the Zozo Championship final 12 months. The event is an official occasion on the PGA Tour schedule, performed outdoors of Tokyo and co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour (JGTO), which designates 10 of its members to compete within the occasion.
Scroll to Proceed
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama received the Zozo Championship final 12 months and is anticipated to defend his title in October. The 2021 Masters champion, who additionally received the Sony Open earlier this 12 months, has lengthy been the topic of hypothesis regarding LIV Golf. He informed the Related Press on the Tour Championship that he wouldn’t be becoming a member of LIV Golf.
It’s unclear if his resolution was in any half based mostly on the PGA Tour’s stance relating to Japanese gamers, which based on the JGTO, was first delivered to its consideration on Aug. 22. The JGTO, in its letter to the members, mentioned it sought clarification on those that had already competed in LIV occasions and what it meant for the remainder of this 12 months. Not one of the 4 gamers who’ve competed to this point can be allowed to attempt to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour, for instance.
“If a JGTO member doesn’t take part in any additional unauthorized occasions through the 2022-2023 PGA Tour season, they might be eligible to take part within the 2023 Sony Open and the 2023 Zozo Championship,’’ the letter mentioned. “Nevertheless, in the event that they take part in any additional unauthorized occasions, they won’t be eligible for any occasions sanctioned by PGA TOUR by way of the tip of 2023 together with the 2023 Zozo Championship.’’
Not one of the 4 Japanese gamers has any kind of PGA Tour membership. They’ve all principally competed on the Japan Golf Tour in addition to the Asian Tour.
“We’d have beloved to have had these gamers be part of LIV, however we respect their resolution given the unlucky, anti-competitive threats imposed on them by the PGA Tour,” LIV Golf mentioned in a press release. “The lengths the Tour goes to to cease gamers from becoming a member of LIV is sort of wonderful.”
Inamori, Kinoshita and Kozuma performed in and missed the lower on the PGA Championship this 12 months. Kozuma additionally missed the lower on the U.S. Open. Inamori received the Japan Gamers Championship in June whereas Kozuma received the Token Homemate Cup 2022.
4 different gamers who competed at Bedminster usually are not on this week’s discipline: South Africa’s Hennie Du Plessis and Justin Harding, Australia’s Travis Smyth and Spain’s David Puig. The LIV Golf Invitational Collection has used varied standards for qualification together with invitations to fill its fields and all of these gamers have been competing on a per-event foundation.
LIV Golf final week joined an antitrust lawsuit introduced in opposition to the PGA Tour initially by 11 gamers however is now seven. The lawsuit claimed the PGA Tour has used monopoly energy to attempt to thwart competitors and has unfairly suspended gamers.
Those that have competed in LIV Golf occasions have been indefinitely suspended. Three of the gamers within the lawsuit—Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones—sought a brief restraining order to compete within the FedEx Cup playoffs. It was denied on the eve of the primary playoff occasion.
In July, the Wall Road Journal reported that the PGA Tour is beneath investigation by the USA Division of Justice for potential anticompetitive habits in response to the risk from the LIV Golf Invitational Collection.