In a surprising decision, the PGA Tour is allowing its golfers to compete in the LIV Golf event

Jay Monahan

Jay Monahan in August at the Tour Championship.

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In a surprise decision, the PGA Tour will allow its players to participate in an upcoming LIV golf event.

As first reported by Sports Illustrated Alex Miceli and confirmed by on Saturday, tour players can play penalty-free at the LIV Golf Promotions event next month, where the top three finishers will earn a spot on the 48-player LIV Tour next year. The PGA Tour previously classified LIV golf events as “unauthorized events” and imposed a one-year tour ban on players participating in them.

But in a statement, the tour said the promotional event “is a qualifying event only and is not part of an unsanctioned series” – so there is no ban. Below is the full explanation of the tour:

“Based on the publicly available information regarding the LIV Golf Promotion event, it is determined that it is a qualifying event only and is not part of an unauthorized series. Therefore, the LIV Golf Promotion event is not classified as an “unsanctioned tournament”. This classification may change if the details of the event change.”

However, the promotional event still appears to be the only LIV event that PGA Tour players can compete in – meaning if they finish in the top three, they have a decision. also asked a Tour official via email whether there had been a change in the Tour’s rule on “unauthorized tournaments,” and the question remained unanswered.

This rule is as follows:

“Any player who has participated in an unauthorized tournament is ineligible to participate in any PGA Tour-sanctioned event for a period of one year from the final round of competition of the unauthorized tournament in which he or she participated.”

The explanation of the tour is surprising. And perhaps insightful.

For a year and two seasons, the Tour and LIV Golf struggled, with players leaving the established brand for the upstart and different shots being thrown. Then June came. And the biggest highlight: tour commissioner Jay Monahan sat next to Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund – which has supported LIV. The two sides had agreed to a deal that would create a for-profit entity operated by both sides.

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The key here is the word “proposed.” The agreement on the tour side has yet to be approved and there has been little news about the negotiations. But could this latest decision be a signal of where things are headed?

Perhaps. You’re not wrong if you think it feels like an olive branch. Or it could be nothing.

The promotional event will be played over three days (December 8th to 10th) and over 72 holes at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates. Admission is $25, it is open to various predetermined players and the prize money is $1.5 million.

Most likely, the Tour’s decision should spur interest. Players can play and then decide – although one would assume that the choice would be relatively obvious if they traveled to the Middle East and either won or finished in the top three.

Before the news, Volvo China Open players were curious about who would take part. This tournament is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the LIV Golf League International Series.

“Obviously we’ve all seen the exemption categories, but we don’t know which players are going to show up,” said Andy Ogletree, who is in line for a LIV Golf course next year as the top seed in the Asian Tour’s season standings.

“Some players might be afraid of losing their current status, so it will be really interesting to see.”


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Nick Piastowski

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Nick Piastowski is a senior editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across golf. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can contact him about any of these topics – his stories, his playing or his beers – at In a surprising decision, the PGA Tour is allowing its golfers to compete in the LIV Golf event

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