Former LIV Golfer 'Banned' From Playing Two PGA Tour Events - Despite Not Being A Member Anyway

Bernd Wiesberger is not a member of the PGA Tour or LIV Golf League - but the Austrian claims he has been "banned" from entering two PGA Tour-sanctioned events on the DP World Tour calendar...

Bernd Wiesberger during the 2023 Dubai Desert Classic
Bernd Wiesberger returns to the DP World Tour at the Dubai Desert Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former LIV golfer Bernd Wiesberger claims he has been "banned" from two events on the DP World Tour calendar this season by the PGA Tour - despite never holding membership on the US-based circuit.

Austria's most successful golfer began his career on the DP World Tour in 2009 and went on to win eight titles between 2012 and 2021 - teeing it up in PGA Tour-sanctioned events 68 times across 11 years.

In 2022, less than a year after playing for Team Europe at the Ryder Cup, Wiesberger opted to sign for the LIV Golf League and featured in its first two years of existence before losing his contract with Martin Kaymer's Cleeks.

Upon paying all fines and fulfilling his sporting sanctions with the DP World Tour, Wiesberger was then allowed to make his return to Europe after revealing he never gave up his membership in the first place.

On X, he said: "I never resigned my membership and therefore I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to play a full schedule [on the DP World Tour] once again."

Since coming back to the DP World Tour, Wiesberger has shown impressive consistency - bagging seven top-25 finishes from nine starts and picking up a T2 at the European Open last time out.

But his plans to play in two events this July which are solely sanctioned by the PGA Tour yet also offer 50 spots to DP World Tour members will have to be shelved as a result of his former association with LIV.

Wiesberger published a post on X which said: "Same here. Just received a letter by the pgat banning me from playing the isco [newly-sponsored ISCO Championship] and barracuda [championship]. Never been a member either. Who knows what’s going on over there…"

The 38-year-old's post was in response to comments by current LIV co-captain, Henrik Stenson - who was speaking to The Mirror - in relation to the on-going divide in men's pro golf a year on from the framework agreement.

Stenson said: "I think that officially when the framework agreement came in place it was supposed be a truce. Then when Richard Bland won the Senior PGA a week ago he found on social media that 'well you aren't going to get any starts on the Champions Tour because you play LIV'.

"I mean Richard has never even been a member of the PGA Tour but just because he plays LIV he is not able to play on the Champions Tour, it is how I understand it.

"Behind the scenes it is not as if everyone is holding hands and singing songs together, so there is still things to be worked out... It has not been ideal, but hopefully brighter minds than us can come to a solution."

Lee Westwood responds to the news posted by Rex Hoggard on Twitter

(Image credit: Twitter)

Wiesberger's suspension relates to a regulation the PGA Tour brought into effect when LIV was created midway through 2022.

In an attempt to dissuade any players from considering a switch in allegiance, the US-based circuit stated that it would ban players from competing in any PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament for a year if they took part in "an unauthorized tournament."

The regulation, which came into effect at the start of the 2022/23 season stated: “any player who has participated in an unauthorized tournament is ineligible to compete in any event sanctioned by the PGA Tour for a period of one year.”

The player handbook defines an “unauthorised tournament” as “any golf event for which the commissioner has denied or has indicated he would deny all conflicting event releases and/or media releases or not eligible for releases because it is to be held in North America.” 

As well as PGA Tour events, the regulation also applies to qualifying events including Monday qualifiers for the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour and Q-School.

Although the Isco Championship and Barracuda Championship are both events open to DP World Tour players, they are run by the PGA Tour and - as a result - Jay Monahan's organization can include (or exclude) whoever they wish.

In a separate post on X responding to someone who wondered if the two tournaments were co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour, Wiesberger said: "To my knowledge, the Scottish Open is a co-sanctioned event between the Tours. Both Member Regulations apply.

"Isco and Barracuda are basically a ‚gift‘ from the pgat to dpwt and only the pgat regulations apply. No co-sanctioned Event. And by this they can decide who play. Or not."

The PGA Tour declined to comment when approached by Golf Monthly.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.