'They've Sued Us' - LIV Golfers Not Welcome Back Claims PGA Tour Commissioner

After announcing a number of changes to the PGA Tour, Jay Monahan revealed that LIV golfers would not be welcome back

Monahan walks the fairway holding a jacket
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Wednesday, PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, revealed a number of huge changes to the PGA Tour in light of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. Within his press conference, the Commissioner also stated that those who have defected to LIV Golf will not be welcome back.

Taking questions from the media, Monahan's one word answer to the question: "If a player who has gone off to LIV looked at this and says, this looks pretty good, would you lift the suspension and welcome them back?" was clear and concise as he gave a two-letter response of "no".

Jay Monahan 2022 Tour Championship Press Conference

Monahan speaks during his press conference at the Tour Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The American went on to add: "They've joined the LIV Golf Series and they've made that commitment. For most of them, they've made multiyear commitments. As I've been clear throughout, every player has a choice, and I respect their choice, but they've made it. We've made ours. We're going to continue to focus on the things that we control and get stronger and stronger. I think they understand that."

Originally, 11 LIV golfers had filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour that is set to go to trial in the early part of 2024, according to a report in Sports Illustrated (opens in new tab).

However, over the past fortnight, both Carlos Ortiz and Pat Perez have withdrawn from the original 105-page complaint against the bans imposed by the PGA Tour to any of its members defecting to the Saudi-funded breakaway circuit.

Once again, Monahan was firm in his response to the possible return of LIV golfers to the PGA Tour, with the 52-year-old explaining: "As it relates to any of the scenarios for LIV players and coming back, I'll remind you that we're in a lawsuit. They've sued us. I think talking about any hypotheticals at this point doesn't make a lot of sense."

Phil Mickelson smiling during the LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster

Mickelson is reportedly part of the nine LIV golfers involved in the lawsuit 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As well as the new changes by the PGA Tour, golf fans will also see the new addition of a technology focussed golf league that will begin in 2024. Launched by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, and in partnership with the PGA Tour, it will showcase team matches from a purpose-built venue on Monday evenings in a prime-time 2 hour slot.

Consisting of 15 regular season Monday night matches before a knockout series, four time Major winner, McIlroy, stated in his press conference on Wednesday that the changes made by the PGA Tour "make the product more compelling".

The 33-year-old went on to add: "I saw a stat yesterday that, apart from the Major championships and maybe the Players [Championship], the top-10 players, top-20 players get together to play against each other one other time during the year. 

"I think if you’re trying to sell a product to TV and to sponsors, and to try and get as many eyeballs on professional golf as possible, you need to at least let people know what they’re tuning in for."

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.