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PGA Tour

These golfers are nominated: Election of the “Player of the Year” of the PGA Tour

Today, the PGA Tour announced the contenders for the Jack Nicklaus Award, given to the “Player of the Year,” and the Arnold Palmer Award, given to the “Rookie of the Year.” Three players each were nominated by PGA Tour player directors and Player Advisory Council members. A member vote will be held through Sept. 9: PGA Tour members who have played in at least 15 official FedExCup events during the 2021/22 season are eligible to vote.

Nominated for the PGA Tour’s “Player of the Year” are:

Rory McIlroy

The 33-year-old Northern Irishman competed in 16 tournaments and walked away victorious three times: at The CJ [email protected], the RBC Canadian Open and the TOUR Championship. Rory McIlroy’s victory at the TOUR Championship made him the winner of the FedExCup. He is the first player ever to win the PGA Tour’s season standings three times. He also led the PGA Tour in scoring average (68.670), the lowest on Tour since Tiger Woods in 2009 (68.670). He made 14 cuts and totaled 10 top-10 finishes.

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler won a total of four times in 25 tournament appearances, winning the World Cup Phoenix Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play and the US Masters. He finished the season ranking of the PGA Tour in second place. Overall, the 25-year-old from Texas posted 11 top-10 finishes with a scoring average of 69.293 on 21 made cuts.

Cameron Smith

The third of the bunch, Cameron Smith, is from Australia and is 29 years old. He participated in a total of 18 tournaments and won the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the Players Championship and the Open Championship. Smith finished 20th in the FedExCup with an average score of 69.203, second best on the tour. He missed the cut only three times, while finishing in the top 10 seven times.

These players are eligible for “Rookie of the Year”:

Tom Kim

Tom Kim is a 20-year-old player from South Korea. In his first season on the PGA Tour, he competed in eleven tournaments. He walked away victorious at the Wyndham Championship and placed in the top 10 at two other tournaments (Genesis Scottish Open (3rd) and Rocket Mortgage Classic (7th)). He capped a total of six top-25 finishes and ten mastered cuts with 35th place in the FedExCup.

Sahith Theegala

The 24-year-old Californian competed in 32 tournaments and posted five top-10 finishes, including a T2 at the Travelers Championship and a T3 at the World Cup Phoenix Open. He qualified for the TOUR Championship and finished 28th in the FedExCup. Overall, he collected 11 top-25 finishes and 26 placings to his credit.

Cameron Young

The last player to be selected as Rookie of the Year is 25-year-old Cameron Young. He competed in 25 tournaments and had seven top-10 finishes, including five second-place finishes: Young finished second at the Sanderson Farms Championship, the Genesis Invitational, the Wells Fargo Championship, the Open Championship and the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He tied for 19th in the FedExCup, earning a total of 12 top-25 finishes with 18 made cuts.

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PGA Tour

PGA Tour: Tricky rules situation – Cam Smith penalized shortly before final round

Just before the final round at TPC Southwind, the bitter news reached Cameron Smith. The reigning Champion Golfer of the Year was within striking distance of the lead after three rounds in the first tournament following his British Open triumph, but lost two strokes before the final round on the PGA Tour. So it came down to the tricky scene:

On Moving Day of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Cameron Smith had sunk his tee shot in the water on the par-3 4th hole. After the subsequent drop, his chip remained just a few centimeters from the hole and the number 2 in the world recorded a bogey. So far, everything seemed normal. The Australian finished his round with 67 strokes and could have attacked the top on Sunday with only two strokes behind. By the way, with a win in Memphis, he would have taken over the top spot in the FedExCup and the world rankings.

Rule violation: Playing from the wrong place

Instead, however, the rules officials noticed a possible violation of the Rules of Golf. The ball had still touched the red line of the side water hazard after said drop when Smith put the ball back in play. In doing so, he violated Rule 14.7 (“Playing from the Wrong Place”) after dropping under Rule 17.1 (“Ball in Penalty Area”). The problem was that after the drop, the ball had rolled back towards the penalty area and just touched the red line.

That officially put the ball back in the penalty zone and it wasn’t dropped appropriately. So Smith should have dropped again; had the ball rolled back into the penalty area, he would have been allowed to put the ball down. The three-time season winner was unaware of the issue and played the ball from the wrong spot, which is penalized with two strikes.

Disagreement among the referees

But why was the Players Champion sanctioned so late? PGA Tour Chief Referee Gary Young explained that the possible rules violation was noticed as early as Saturday during the television broadcast, but was not investigated further because “the camera angles were awkward and he was dropping in a really tight area. We were confident at that point that he was familiar with the rule.” The official on the lap was too far away to assess the situation, he said, and had not been called in by the player. “It was such a quick look that we had at that point that we decided it wasn’t worth pursuing,” Young added. “It’s something the players do every day”.

PGA Tour’s Cam Smith admits unwitting violation

But after the round, he said, they took a closer look at the scene and wanted to make sure there was no violation of the rules. That’s why Young said he spoke to the player about an hour before his start time on the final day. “I thought it was just a situation where I ask Cameron the question and he tells me he’s sure the ball was outside the penalty area,” Young said. “Unfortunately, when I asked him the question, he told me, ‘No, the ball definitely touched the line.’ So at that point, there’s no turning back.” Smith accepted the penalty very calmly and matter-of-factly, he said. “His response to me was, ‘The rules are the rules,'” Young said.

So just before his tee time, Cameron Smith was penalized two strokes back, his score on hole 4 adjusted to a triple bogey. Instead of being two strokes behind, it was four. Whether burdened by this situation or not, the 28-year-old only played an even-par round and fell back to T13 in the final standings.

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PGA Tour

PGA Tour: BMW Championship 2022 with world-class field

This week, the US state of Delaware will host a tournament on the PGA TOUR for the first time – and Wilmington Country Club welcomes an absolute highlight of the golfing calendar for this premiere: the BMW Championship, the penultimate tournament in the FedExCup Playoffs, and four-time “PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year”. Only the top 70 players in the end-of-season standings are eligible to tee off at the BMW Championship, with just 30 of them progressing to the season finale – the TOUR Championship. Professional golf does not get any higher quality or more intense than this.

BMW Championship 2022 with world-class field

This is underlined by the field. Will Zalatoris (USA) tees off as number one in the FedExCup ranking. Patrick Cantlay (USA), Rory McIlroy (NIR) and Justin Thomas (USA) are three former champions looking to regain their crown. They will be joined by major winners Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Cameron Smith (AUS), Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa (both USA). The entire top ten in the world rankings will tee off, led by number one Scottie Scheffler (USA).

The tournament week begins on Wednesday 17th August with the traditional BMW Championship Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am, which sees the likes of former basketballer and two-time NBA champion J.R. Smith, former NFL footballer Victor Cruz, and BMW Motorsport works driver Connor De Phillippi (all USA) tee off on the championship course.

All revenues from the sale of Pro-Am places – along with all other proceeds from the BMW Championship – will support the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full tuition and housing scholarships for hardworking young caddies. Since the tournament’s inception 16 years ago, The BMW Championship has raised over $40 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation and helped send 3,300 caddies to college. For the upcoming school year, a record 1,100 Evans Scholars will attend 22 leading universities nationwide, including one caddie from Wilmington Country Club.

BMW of North America will contribute a four-year Evans Scholarship, a full tuition and housing grant, in the name of the first PGA TOUR player to record a hole-in-one on any hole during the 2022 BMW Championship. To date, five such Hole-In-One Scholarships have been awarded. It is also worth hitting an ace for the professionals, although it must be on the 15th hole. The first player to hit a hole-in-one on this hole during a tournament round will be rewarded with a fully-electric BMW i7 (combined power consumption, acc. WLTP: 19.6 – 18.4 kWh/100 kM; CO2 emissions: 0 g/km; specifications acc. NEDC: -). As the world’s first thoroughbred luxury limousine with 100% electric drive, the BMW i7 brings innovative driving pleasure to the streets with a range of more than 600 kilometres.

The BMW Group’s transformation towards electromobility will also be visible and perceptible at Wilmington Country Club. At the heart of the BMW exhibition at the course will be the fully-electric BMW iX, BMW i4 and BMW i7 models.

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Panorama

The “Tiger Effect”: Tiger Woods’ Path to Billions

So far, there have only been two athletes who have become billionaires: American basketball legends LeBron James and Michael Jordan. According to Forbes, probably the best-known business magazine in the world, another athlete has now joined the circle of billionaires: Tiger Woods cracked the 10-digit mark. The composition of the fortune of the golfer, who has so far celebrated more victories than any other, is surprising.

The importance of winning money

Tiger Woods’ net income, estimated by Forbes Magazine at at least one billion dollars, is based only to a small extent on his sporting successes and prize money. After hard years in golf, marked by tour victories, major wins and records, the 46-year-old can boast total prize money of 120,895,206 dollars. A horrendous sum, but one that represents only a small portion of the billions he has earned.

Tiger Woods’ most profitable sources of income

Woods’ key to making money has always been his income from endorsements. As a world-renowned athlete who regularly generates buzz among non-golf fans, Tiger Woods could hardly be more valuable to his advertising partners. Joe Favorito, a veteran sports business consultant, analyzes, “He hit the right time in the right sport, being an athlete with a diverse background who was approachable. Brands love knowing they’re getting someone who is embraced not just by the traditional but also by the casual fans.”

Brands like Monster Energy, TaylorMade, Rolex and Gatorade all benefit from their contracts with the legend – as does Tiger Woods himself. Woods has been working with Nike, his biggest backer, since as early as 1996. James and Jordan were also under contract with the sporting goods manufacturer.

In addition, Woods used his earnings to buy and found companies. Whether golf design, live events, a restaurant or miniature golf courses: Tiger Woods always knows how best to invest his money. ““[He’s] been extremely skillful in taking parts of businesses, in creating their own business, in ways that athletes before them just weren’t,” explains sports agent Leigh Steinberg. Off the golf course, Tiger Woods earns more than $100 million annually.

The “Tiger Effect”

Digitization, which has undergone tremendous development over the last few decades, also made itself felt in golf. Golf tournaments without a TV broadcast have been unthinkable for many years. 95 of the 100 most-watched TV broadcasts last year were sporting events: TV contracts, and with them player salaries, have been skyrocketing since the early 21st century. The influence of Tiger Woods was clearly evident here: the ratings of tournaments in which Woods did not compete were 30 to 50 percent lower than those of tournaments in which Woods did compete. This “Tiger effect” ensured that PGA Tour earnings almost tripled between 1996 and 2008 – Woods’ most successful period.

Phil Mickelson, another major-winning golfer, is also clear about the golf legend’s influence: “Tiger has been the instigator. He’s been the one that’s really propelled and driven the bus because he’s brought increased ratings, increased sponsors, increased interest, and we have all benefited.”

Woods turned down several $100 million from Greg Norman

Considering these incredibly high earnings that have now made Woods a billionaire, it is hardly surprising that Woods turned down an “mind-blowingly enormous” offer from Greg Norman and LIV Golf. According to reports, the Saudi Golf League offered Tiger Woods a high nine-figure sum if he would participate in the LIV Golf Invitational Series. For Woods, who is at home on the PGA Tour, the offer might not have been too tempting – the estimated net worth of at least one billion dollars seems to be enough for him…

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LIV Tour

PGA Tour suspends players from LIV Golf Invitational Series

The PGA Tour had been threatening sanctions for those players who would turn their backs on the PGA Tour and participate in the LIV Golf Invitational Series events for several weeks. Some players – including Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood – were not impressed by this and teed off on the first day of the LIV Golf Event in London. The PGA Tour’s receipt followed just minutes later.

Jay Monahan responds to LIV Golf

A two-page letter from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan bans players participating in the first Saudi Golf League event, as well as players who plan to participate in future events in the series, from PGA Tour tournaments. The letter states, “Simultaneous to you receiving this memo, [those] players are being notified that they are suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament tournament play.” It is not yet clear for how long this suspension will last. Nor is it known if and, if so, how the players might return to the PGA Tour.

As if that were not enough, the players will also be removed from the FedEx Cup points list and will not be allowed to participate in PGA Tour events as non-members through a sponsor exemption or other eligibility category.

The suspension applies not only to participation in PGA Tour tournaments, but also to events on the other PGA Tour tours: the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Lationamérica. Last but not least, players will also no longer be able to participate in the Presidents Cup.

Jay Monahan explained the consequences of the PGA Tour’s decision: “As you know, [those players] did not receive the necessary conflicting event and media rights releases – or did not apply for releases at all – and their participation in the Saudi Golf League / LIV Golf event is in violation of our Tournament Regulations.” Neither player will be allowed to participate in PGA Tour tournaments as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or other eligibility category.

So far, 17 players have been affected by the suspension. Ten of them have already resigned from the PGA Tour before the announcement: Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na, Louis Oosthuizen, Turk Pettit, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood. The remaining players hit by the suspension are Talor Gooch, Matt Jones, Phil Mickelson, Andy Ogletree, Ian Poulter, Hudson Swafford and Peter Uihlein.

Quick reaction of the Saudi Golf League

The Saudi Golf League shows shortly after the statement of the PGA Tour visibly attacked. It also issues a statement on Twitter, albeit much shorter: “Today’s 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 era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”

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LIV Tour

Phil Mickelson: “I’m ready to come back”

On February 22, Phil Mickelson spoke out on Twitter and announced a break from professional golf. Since then, he hasn’t played an official tournament and took time out with his family to reflect on his critical statements towards the PGA Tour. After much speculation about when Mickelson would finally return to the big stage, there is now certainty: the American will make his comeback at the opening event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series in London.

Phil Mickelson speaks of a “fresh start”

These were certainly not pleasant times for Phil Mickelson, who had to take some criticism after his statements about the PGA Tour. So it’s no wonder that he needed time for himself in recent months and, according to his own statements, was also undergoing therapy. However, it seems that exactly this has helped him, because in a statement on his Twitter account, the 51-year-old confirms that he now feels “healthy and much calmer”. He also apologized again to his fans for his lapses, but is aware that he still has a long way to go.

However, a fresh start from a sporting perspective will come sooner than some might have thought: “I’m ready to return to play the game I love, but after 32 years, this path is a fresh start for me” By fresh start, Mickelson is referring to the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series, confirming in his statement, “I’m very excited to be starting with LIV Golf.”

Fans criticize his decision

The first event of Greg Norman’s newly founded series will start on June 9 at the Centurion Club in London. In addition to Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer will also be among the participants. Although Mickelson has already apologized in advance to his fans for this move, many criticize him for his decision. “I fully realize and respect that some disagree with this decision and have strong opinions, and I understand that” Mickelson wrote on Twitter.

Fans accuse him of being money-hungry and also vent their displeasure on social media:

According to speculation, Mickelson has signed a contract that is expected to pay him around $200 million. However, there is no official confirmation of this.

Tiger Woods rejects immoral offer

In addition to Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman apparently also wanted to poach Tiger Woods from the PGA Tour for his newly founded league. In an interview with the Washington Post, the Australian confirmed that Woods had been made an “incredibly high offer. However, the 15-time major winner declined. Just how enormous the offer really was becomes clear when Norman goes into more detail about the figures: “We’re talking about a high nine-figure sum here.” How high the sum really was will probably remain a secret. However, it is not unlikely that it went in the direction of $1 billion. By way of comparison, during his time as a professional athlete, Tiger Woods earned around $121 million on the world’s golf courses.

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LIV Tour

For Saudi League: Dustin Johnson gives up PGA Tour membership

Dustin Johnson has resigned his membership on the PGA Tour to play in the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series, according to the BBC. The tour, run by Greg Norman, lures American and European stars with horrendous entry bonuses and prize money beyond that of the four major tournaments. This week, the first tournament of the “Saudi League” is scheduled to take place in London. Martin Kaymer and Bernd Wiesberger are also on the start list.

Johnson reportedly signed a contract that commits him to playing in all eight tournaments, starting with Thursday’s at the Centurion Club in London. The BBC quotes the 37-year-old as saying, “I don’t want to play for the rest of my life. This gives me the opportunity to do what I want to do.” The two-time major winner has earned nearly $75 million in prize money alone so far in his career.

Before Johnson, Kevin Na had already declared he would rest his membership on the PGA Tour and tee off this week in the controversial tour’s first tournament. Phil Mickelson has also announced that he will compete in the LIV Golf Invitational Series after a five-month break. What consequences this will have for the players on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour has not yet been finally clarified. The PGA Tour had always threatened to ban the renegades for life. So far, there have been no statements from Europe’s top circuit as to how those players who actually play in London will be dealt with. For the American Ryder Cup team, “DJ” will probably no longer be allowed to compete. “The Ryder Cup is incredible and has meant a lot to me, but in the end I made the decision that was best for me and my family,” Johnson said.

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Top Tours

Eduardo Molinari named as vice captain for 2023 Ryder Cup

Henrik Stenson has named Italian Edoardo Molinari as his second Vice Captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup which will be played at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy from September 25 – October 1, 2023.

Molinari, alongside his brother Francesco, was part of the victorious European Team in the 2010 Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. He has also won three times on the DP World Tour, previously known as the European Tour, and has made 356 Tour appearances to date.

The 41-year-old is Stenson’s second Vice Captaincy appointment, following the announcement earlier this month of Dane Thomas Bjørn, the successful 2018 European Captain.

Molinari will undoubtedly be a popular addition to Team Europe amongst the home support when Italy hosts the biennial contest for the first time next year.  

“It’s fantastic to be Ryder Cup vice-captain”

He said: “It is fantastic. I played the Ryder Cup in 2010 and to be able to be a Vice Captain in this one is a dream come true. It was a very unexpected call from Henrik. We had chatted a few times about stats and what I could do to help the team, but I never expected this.

“Knowing Henrik, he will leave no stone unturned. He will do everything he can to win the Ryder Cup back. It will be a lot of fun for all the guys playing for him too. He has always been a very friendly guy, and is always smiling, so I think it will be a fantastic atmosphere in the team room.

“The Italian fans will be loud and passionate at Marco Simone. For the players, it will be a lot of fun to play in front of such supportive crowds. Rome is a fantastic city, one of my favourites in the world. It is going to be a great week overall and I am very happy that the players will get to experience Rome.”

Stenson said: “I’m delighted to welcome Edoardo to the 2023 European Ryder Cup team as a Vice Captain. I’ve known him for a long time and he is obviously a Ryder Cup player himself. He is really into stats and he works with a few of the players who will potentially be on my team.

“I asked him if he would do me the honour of joining the team and he was delighted to. I’m very happy to have him on board and I’m very much looking forward to his input and to lean on his experience. With him being Italian, it is going to be an extra special week for him.

“I envisage Thomas and Edoardo as the working group that I will lean on for the foreseeable future. There will be a lot of healthy discussion and input between us. I’m delighted to have both of them as part of Team Europe.”

The Molinaris have a successful Ryder Cup history

Molinari and his brother Francesco followed compatriot Costantino Rocca into Ryder Cup folklore when they represented Europe in the Ryder Cup in 2010 at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.

The Molinaris became the first brothers to compete against the United States since Bernard and Geoffrey Hunt played in the 1963 Great Britain & Ireland team, when they played in the 2010 contest at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. They halved their fourball match against Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar, while Edoardo contributed another crucial half point in his singles match against Rickie Fowler as Europe triumphed 14½-13½.

In addition to his three victories on the DP World Tour, Molinari was also the Challenge Tour Number One in 2009 and was, for a number of years, a respected member of the DP World Tour’s Tournament Committee.

Before turning professional Molinari won the 2005 US Amateur Championship and alongside Francesco, claimed the World Cup of Golf for Italy in 2009 at Mission Hills in China.

(Text: EUROPEAN TOUR GROUP COMMUNICATIONS)

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Uncategorized

LIV Golf Invitational Series: Two pros lose sponsor UPS

The PGA Championship in Oklahoma at Southern Hills Golf Club had a very interesting fringe event on the first day. Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood were spotted on the course and during the first round without their sponsor UPS on their shirts, the reason could be the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Westwood, who has been with UPS for 14 years, commented, “I consider myself lucky to have been with UPS for 14 years – such a great company.”

LIV Golf Invitational Series the reason for the end of the collaboration?

According to UPS, this decision is all about business. But when you consider the fact that UPS is also the Ryder Cup’s logistics partner, the split could very well have to do with the two pros’ aspirations for their future. Both Westwood and Oosthuizen have been positive about the LIV Golf Invitational Series and plan to participate in the inaugural event in London. As the Ryder Cup’s logistics partner, that might not be compatible for UPS. Especially since it is planned that all players who want to participate in the events will no longer be part of a Ryder Cup.

The LIV Golf Invitational Series has been at the top of the headlines for weeks and is the number one topic of conversation in the golf circuit. Whether it’s the memorable statements made by CEO Greg Norman about the murder of Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia, or that Saudi Arabia is sportswashing with these events, the new tour is facing harsh criticism. It remains exciting to see what further impact this new tour will have on the traditional tours, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.

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PGA Tour

A clear no: PGA Tour prohibits its players from participating in LIV Golf Event

It won’t be long before the LIV Golf Invitational Series kicks off. The first event of the tournament series, created by Greg Norman, is coming up. The first of eight planned tournaments will begin on June 9, 2022. For many months now, there have been heated discussions and wild speculations about the participation or non-participation of PGA Tour players in the Saudi League. Now the PGA Tour made a clear statement.

PGA Tour threatens immense penalties

From the beginning, the relationship between the established golf tours and the new Saudi League was an adversarial one. Some players from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour nevertheless now asked for the tours’ permission to participate in the first event of the Norman Series in London. The feedback from PGA Tour chief executive Jay Monahan was unequivocal: “We have notified those who have applied that their request has been declined in accordance with the PGA Tour tournament regulations. As such, tour members are not authorised to participate in the Saudi Golf League’s London event,” Monahan announced. “As a membership organisation, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the PGA Tour and its players.”

Initially, it looked like the PGA Tour would agree to tournament participation in the Saudi League that would not take place on U.S. soil. Now, however, the PGA Tour qualified that assumption on the grounds that “the event for which they have requested clearance is the first of an eight-event ‘2022 LIV Golf Invitational Series’ season, more than half of which will be held in the United States”.

PGA Tour players found to be in violation could face severe disciplinary action. In addition to suspensions, the punishment could even include revocation of PGA Tour membership.

Greg Norman: “We will not be stopped”

The PGA Tour’s announcement was promptly followed by a response from 67-year-old Greg Norman: “Sadly, the PGA Tour seems intent on denying professional golfers their right to play golf, unless it’s exclusively in a PGA Tour tournament. This is particularly disappointing in light of the Tour’s non-profit status, where its mission is purportedly ‘to promote the common interests of professional tournament golfers.” Norman calls the PGA Tour an “illegal monopoly” whose actions are both anti-golfer, anti-fan and anti-competitive. Undeterred by this latest setback, he says he and his team will not let the PGA Tour stop them.