WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Long before the PGA Tour’s postseason opener ended with a three-hole match-winning bogey, the biggest drama was at the TPC Southwind Club.
At the beginning of the many court battles between the PGA Tour and Saudi-sponsored LIV Golf, 12 or so players gathered around the screen to watch the results.
“I walked into the player’s cafeteria and saw about 10 very anxious people milling around the room and I thought, ‘OK, something’s up,'” John Rahm said.
He was eager to stay for the final.
This went on tour. A federal judge denied three LIV golfers’ bids to compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Talor Goch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones were in Memphis, Tennessee if they got the green light but will soon be heading home.
When are you coming back?
That was one of the facts that came out of the decision, even an emergency hearing. More detailed arguments for an interim injunction may come later. U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman said her vacancy for the first evidentiary hearing is Sept. 27-29.
That’s Presidents Cup week. Such is the year.
The speculation is that the three players – possibly opting not to leave the PGA Tour – would want the freedom to play both circuits. For now they are blocked – or suspended, this term is used in a text exchange between Sergio Garcia and Greg Norman from February.
Hello Sharky! It’s official, the tour told our manager this week that anyone who signs with the league will be banned from the tour for life! I don’t know how we can get enough good players to join the league with this condition. What do you think?” Garcia said in the article, which is now part of court documents.
“They can’t stop you for a day, let alone a life,” Norman replied. It’s a shallow threat. Ask them to submit it in writing to you or any other player. I bet they don’t. I would be happy if anyone could speak to our legal team to better understand that they have no chance of enforcement.
The story continues
Judge Freeman issued a different ruling.
For some players, it can be difficult to compete in the same tournament as the 10 players who charge the PGA Tour. This is starting to get personal. Until now, any serious feeling was on someone who wore very long spikes or was called a “Brooksie”.
The concept of a lifetime ban is premature. However, the reality is that LIV golfers may not appear on the PGA Tour, whether they like it or not.
“It doesn’t seem like it,” Rahm said. I’m sure the LIV side of things will still push hard to keep trying to change some things. But I know the lawyers on the PGA Tour will continue to fight for the way things are going now. It’s not the last we’ll hear from them.
There are two cases out of court.
The majors have not announced their eligibility criteria for next year. The US Open typically waits until the fall to pass any reforms it wants to make. In the year After climbing into the top 50 (from the top 20) in the world rankings in 2001 and toppling the money lists on the PGA Tour and European Tour in 2012, the USGA hasn’t made any significant changes.
The Masters began using the 50 in the world rankings in 1999. The Masters Championships now have lifetime exemptions, and since 2010 six of them are now part of LIV Golf. There is no seating chart for the Masters Club dinner on Tuesday night for past champions. This may be a good time to start a new culture.
The British Open has grown significantly on the world’s free and alternative list. The PGA Championship uses the PGA Tour’s money list and “special invitations,” which always seem to hold the top 100 in the world. It just doesn’t say so in writing.
At this rate, maybe the majors won’t have to make much of an adjustment if they want to limit the number of LIV golfers.
Dustin Johnson drops to No. 21 this week because LIV Golf has no one in the top 20. Players won’t earn World Ranking points, and the July 6 application to be included in the World Ranking system probably won’t be decided until early next year. The process historically takes a year or more.
The only players to be exempt for all majors with a few exceptions are Phil Mickelson, Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed (with one year left).
And this leads to another fact that was revealed last week. The world ranking began to change to a modern system that was believed to be more accurate and, in doing so, reduced points for smaller tours and weaker fields.
Reed played the Asian Tour last week. He finished 31st and got 0.31 points. The winner received 7.4 under par – about half of what the Korn Ferry Tour winner received.
75 to find anyone who is not a member of the PGA Tour for 1 year or more.
Players are free to choose any path they want. If that means guaranteed money — more than you can reasonably earn on the PGA Tour — it’s hard to hurt them.
But if that’s where they want to go, it could be a long road.
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