The PGA announced on Thursday that all players participating in the Saudi Golf League/LIV Golf event in England have been told they are suspended and no longer will be allowed to enter PGA Tour tournaments, CNN reported.
"As you know, players listed below did not receive the necessary conflicting event and media rights releases – or did not apply for releases at all – and their participation in the Saudi Golf League/LIV Golf event is in violation of our Tournament Regulations," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
"The same fate holds true for any other players who participate in future Saudi Golf League events in violation of our regulations."
The 17 golfers listed by the PGA included big names such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia.
On Wednesday, Mickelson responded that he had earned a lifetime eligibility which he’s “worked hard for” to play on the PGA Tour, and he would continue to seek to enter PGA tournaments.
Monahan added that questions about whether players could return to the PGA Tour would be answered in the future.
"These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons,” he said. “But they can't demand the same PGA TOUR membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform as you. That expectation disrespects you, our fans and our partners. You have made a different choice, which is to abide by the Tournament Regulations you agreed to when you accomplished the dream of earning a PGA TOUR card and – more importantly – to compete as part of the preeminent organization in the world of professional golf."
Golfers who were part of the Saudi series have faced mounting criticism due to Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights and being “willing pawns” in the Gulf kingdom’s attempt to change its image and rebrand itself through sports..
The series had been described as an example of “sportswashing” and participating golfers accused of putting greed above ethics, according to media reports.