LIV Golf has hit back at the PGA Tour after it handed bans to every player participating in the breakaway league.
Following the start of Thursday’s curtain-raising event in St Albans, the tour confirmed it has suspended the rebels – whether they have resigned their membership or not.
But the Saudi-backed circuit quickly responded, insisting it marked the start of an “era of free agency”.
“Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the tour and its members,” it said in a statement.
“It’s troubling that the tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing. This certainly is not the last word on this topic.
“The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed the bans in a letter to all members shortly after the first shots of the day at Centurion Club.
The bans include all events sanctioned by the PGA Tour, including the Presidents Cup, and players will also be prohibited from playing in tour events on sponsor exemptions.
Notably, however, there were no details on how long suspensions will last, or whether the players in question will be allowed to return at all.