PGA Tour blocks release of players for LIV Golf Invitational Series

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The PGA Tour has refused to release players who wish to take part in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series opener in England next month.

The Tour said players who take part at Centurion Golf Club from 9 June would be in violation of their regulations.

American Phil Mickelson and England’s Lee Westwood had requested a release from the PGA Tour to participate.

On Tuesday, Greg Norman told BBC Sport he had the finance to build the LIV Series for “decades” into the future.

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In reacting to the PGA Tour’s decision to block the release of players, Norman said the PGA Tour was “anti-golfer, anti-fan and anti-competitive”.

The Australian, who is chief executive of LIV Golf Investments, added: “The Tour is intent on perpetuating its illegal monopoly of what should be a free and open market.

“But no matter what obstacles the PGA Tour puts in our way, we will not be stopped. We will continue to give players options that promote the great game of golf globally.”

The PGA Tour’s Canadian Open event clashes with the LIV series opener in London.

In confirming it had blocked the requests of players who wished to be released for the event the PGA Tour said its decision was “is in the best interest of the Tour and its players”.

The LIV events will offer prize money of around $25m (£20m), meaning every leg of its series is more lucrative than the richest event on the PGA Tour.

Norman says he has secured $2bn (£1.6bn) in funding to help develop the LIV Series into a full super league by 2024.

The Series’ second tournament is set to be played in Portland, Oregon in July.

LIV Golf are expected to name the players participating in the Centurion event next week, the same week as the second men’s major of the year, the US PGA Championship.


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