LIV golfers banned from PGA Tour. What will Rickie Fowler do? | Today Headlines

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Unlike Bryson DeChambeau, who recently said he wasn’t tempted by LIV Golf before making the jump to the Saudi-backed tour this week, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan kept his word.

Monahan ignored all the meaningless fines and did what he had to do:

Protect his tour and support his speech of the past few months.

Monahan sent a note Thursday to those who have “decided to turn their back on the PGA Tour,” advising them that they “are suspended or no longer eligible to participate in the PGA Tour tournament, including the Presidents Cup.”

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Rickie Fowler plays his shot from the second tee during the third round of the Memorial Tournament on Saturday in Dublin, Ohio. He finished in a three-way tie for 64th place.

So beyond those who have been proactive and have already resigned from their tour membership – Dustin Johnson of Jupiter, Charl Schwartzel of Palm Beach Gardens, Sergio Garcia among others – Monahan banned defectors such as Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Peter Uihlein of Jupiter.

DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, who announced their intentions this week, are set to star in LIV’s next event June 30-July 2 in Portland, Oregon.

Monahan’s memo is the first event in the LIV Golf Invitational series, funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which kicked off in London on Thursday.

Monahan’s decision is backed by two of the biggest names in the sport, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, both of Jupiter.

Speaking from the Canadian Open, Thomas said he was “satisfied” and anyone “shocked” by the ban did not listen to Monahan’s message. McIlroy added, “I think the majority of the members who are here this week who haven’t gone to play elsewhere are really enjoying it. So I think he did the right thing.”

None of this should come as a surprise to those looking for the money. Every player, from Mickelson, who would have received a $200 million signing bonus, to the golfer who finishes last in London this week and receives $120,000, knew joining LIV would mean facing the consequences and damaging their reputations.

They just decided that money is more important.

Monahan’s ban also applies to all PGA Tour-sanctioned tours: Korn Ferry, Tour Champions, Tour Canada and Tour Latinoamerica. West Palm Beach’s Chase Koepka has joined LIV after failing to become a PGA Tour member for six years. Koepka earned $8,500 this year performing in 11 events on the Canada, Korn Ferry and Latin America tours.

For those like Koepka and other struggling golfers who have joined LIV, the cash grab outweighs the consequences and any impact on a career that is utterly lackluster.

For those like Thomas and McIlroy and many others, including Chase’s most successful brother, Brooks, their allegiance to the PGA Tour outweighs any financial gain from LIV.

Rickie Fowler hits a bunker shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Honda Classic at the PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens on February 25.

Rickie Fowler hits a bunker shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Honda Classic at the PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens on February 25.

And for many, those discussions with financial advisers, sponsors and agents must have been intense. One of them, Rickie Fowler from Jupiter, refuses to close the door on joining LIV.

Fowler, 33, seems like a prime candidate to join LIV given his game has fallen off a cliff in recent years. He hasn’t won a tournament in the past three years with a top three in that time, missing nearly 40% of cups.

Fowler’s world ranking of 145 is as low as it has been in about a dozen years. He is a substitute for the US Open next week – which allows golfers on the LIV circuit to participate – failing to qualify for the second consecutive year.

On Monday, Fowler reiterated his desire to continue playing on the PGA Tour but did not rule out joining LIV.

“My plans are to continue playing on the PGA Tour at this time,” he told Golf Channel. “But I also think competition is a good thing, it always has been. LIV is really interesting and intriguing and it’s worth watching. But, no, I haven’t made any decision about it and it’s going to be interesting to see kind of how it all continues to unfold.”

Fowler, like Mickelson, DJ, Garcia and a handful of others, must also weigh the fallout from sponsors. Fowler has had a solid relationship with Rocket Mortgage and Farmers Insurance, among others, and it’s likely he earned more money from sponsors than the $41 million he made on the course.

Fowler would be a good addition for LIV given that her popularity, so far, has weathered her game’s decline. But for Fowler, who is still cashing big checks, would it be worth it?

How to watch LIV Golf Invitational

Where: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Portland, Oregon

When: Thursday to Saturday (54 holes)

TV: LIV Golf has no broadcast agreements. Stream on LIVGolf.com, the LIV Golf YouTube channel and the LIV Golf Facebook page.

Tom D’Angelo is a reporter for the Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: PGA Tour commissioner suspends LIV golfers. What about Rickie Fowler?

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