The PGA TOUR has informed Japan Golf Tour organizers that any member who has participated in any LIV Golf Series event this year or any LIV Golf Tour event in the 2022-23 season will be prohibited from participating in tournaments operated by the PGA TOUR. rice field. Zozo Championship and Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament.
The move helps explain why all four Japanese players who competed in the last LIV Golf Invitational Series event in New Jersey are not on the field outside of Boston this week.
Yuki Inamori, Ryosuke Kinoshita, Jinichiro Takatsuma and Hideto Tanihara formed an all-Japan squad when they played for Trump Bedminster in July.
sports illustrated I have obtained a copy of a letter sent to members by the Japan Golf Tour this week. In the letter, the JGTO cites correspondence with the PGA Tour explaining the decision.
According to the letter, players who have competed in any LIV Golf event up to this point “are ineligible to compete in any event on any PGA Tour-sanctioned tour until the end of the calendar year, including the ZOZO Championship.”
The PGA Tour has not commented, but clarified that the restrictions on LIV players apply beyond Japan Tour players and are not specific to the ZOZO Championship.
Here is the letter:
Inamori, who is ranked 90th in the world, Kinoshita, who is ranked 119th, and Takatsuma, who is ranked 134th, participated in last year’s ZOZO Championship. The tournament is an official event on the PGA TOUR schedule held outside of Tokyo and is jointly sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour (JGTO).
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Hideki Matsuyama of Japan won the ZOZO Championship last year and is expected to defend his title in October. has been the subject of speculation about He told the Associated Press at the Tour Championship that he will not be participating in LIV Golf.
It’s unclear whether his decision was based on the PGA Tour’s stance on the Japanese player, which was first spotted on Aug. 22, according to the JGTO, which said in a letter to its members that it had already announced that LIV Clarify with those who have attended the event and what it means for the rest of the year. For example, none of his four players to date have qualified for the Corn Ferry Tour.
“If JGTO members do not participate in unauthorized events during the 2022-2023 PGA Tour season, they will be eligible to participate in the 2023 Sony Open and the 2023 ZOZO Championship,” the letter said. “However, if they do participate in further non-sanctioned events, they will be barred from participating in any PGA TOUR sanctioned events until the end of 2023, including the 2023 ZOZO Championship.”
None of the four Japanese players have PGA Tour membership. They mostly compete on the Japan Golf Tour and the Asia Tour.
“We wanted these players to join LIV, but we respect their decision given the unfortunate and anti-competitive threat posed to them by the PGA Tour,” LIV Golf said in a statement. . It would be very nice to stop a player from joining his LIV. ”
Inamori, Kinoshita, and Kozuma did not qualify for this year’s PGA Championship. Kozuma also failed to qualify for the US Open. Inamori won the Japan Players Championship in June, while Kozuma won the Token Homemate Cup 2022.
The other four players who qualified for Bedminster will not be on the field this week. Hennie Du Plessis and Justin Harding from South Africa, Travis Smyth from Australia and David Puig from Spain. The LIV Golf Invitational Series used different criteria for qualification, along with invitations to fill the field, and all those players were competing from event to event.
Liv Golf joined an antitrust lawsuit filed by 11 players against the PGA Tour last week, and now has seven. The lawsuit alleges that the PGA Tour used its monopoly power to sabotage competition and unfairly suspend players.
Those who competed in LIV Golf events have been suspended indefinitely. Three of his players who participated in the lawsuit, Talla Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones, have sought temporary restraining orders to keep FedEx out of the playoffs for his cup. Denied on the eve of the first playoff event.
In July, The Wall Street Journal reported that the PGA Tour was under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for possible anti-competitive conduct in response to threats from the LIV Golf Invitational series. .