PGA Tour denies renewal of membership for LIV-affiliated players

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Team Captain Phil Mickelson of Hy Flyers GC watches a shot on the practice range during day one of the LIV Golf Invitational – Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 29, 2022 in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Jonathan Ferrel | LIV Golf | Getty Images

The PGA Tour confirmed Friday that it won’t allow players affiliated with the rival LIV Golf league to renew their memberships for the 2022-23 year.

The decision, reported earlier in the day by Sports Illustrated, means the LIV players will not be allowed to compete in PGA Tour events in the 2022-2023 season. The move comes after players who had jumped to the the Saudi-backed LIV league were indefinitely suspended from the PGA Tour in June.

On Friday, a spokesperson from the PGA told CNBC that the players are ineligible for renewal because their contracts with LIV prevent them from upholding the membership requirements.

Players including Phil Mickelson had filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour in early August after their suspensions from the league, alleging anticompetitive practices. The Justice Department is also investigating the league for possible antitrust violations. Mickelson, an LIV player, previously had a lifetime membership on the tour after winning 20 events across more than 15 seasons.

The latest move comes after the PGA Tour announced significant changes that were seen as ways to retain player loyalty and better compete with the deep-pocketed LIV league.

Among the changes were increased prize money, added player benefits and a commitment among the tour’s top players to play in at least 20 events a year.

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