Both the PGA and DP World Tours have been crystal clear about their stance since the LIV Golf event took place at Centurion Club earlier this year. They have made it pretty clear that the golfers who play in the rebel league will be banned and handed hefty fines.
In contrast, the Asian Tour has supported LIV despite opposition from the PGA and DP World Tours. Through a strategic partnership, LIV and the Asian Tour launched the $300 million investment known as the International Series earlier this year.
The full statement states: “Today, I would like to give you an update on the recent development in relation to the confusion resulting from the activities of LIV. First, JGTO’s current position is that it would be beneficial (for tour members and for the tour itself) if we maintained a neutral position on this matter and stayed away from any political conflict.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Greg Norman (of LIV Golf) contacted JGTO and asked us to take the same position as them, regarding the eligibility of Japan Golf Tour members for the ZOZO Championship and to protest the PGA Tour.”
“As I have already told you, the conclusion made by the PGA Tour for this year’s ZOZO Championship was reached after negotiations that took a few months, and we told Mr. Norman that we would not find it appropriate to reopen the negotiations at this time.
“In addition, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour (partner) sent a letter to JGTO, outlining their desire to form a visible alliance with JGTO. We will be discussing the details of their intention going forward, believing that a critical factor in this discussion would be to try to establish a path to the DP World Tour, the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Tour, based on the results of the Japan Golf Tour.
“And there is one thing that we would like to be understood. Knowing how things would unfold in the future, it is not possible to enjoy the benefits of both LIV Golf and the PGA Tour at this time. If we entered into an affiliation or an amicable relationship with LIV, the ability of tour members to play on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour would be reduced.”
“And if we enter into an alliance with the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, there will definitely be a restriction on our members’ participation in the LIV Golf Invitational.
“If one wishes to play on the LIV Golf Invitational instead of the PGA Tour, it might make sense to play primarily on the Asian Tour (LIV International Series). Now that the Asian Tour has entered into a friendly relationship with LIV, we believe that JGTO needs to create a clear path to the PGA Tour/DP World Tour, so that professional golfers from Japan and Asia have a good range of opportunities, depending on the intention of each golfer.”
The letter ends with “I am sure that each of you will have a different opinion on this matter and it would probably be unlikely to find a direction that would suit everyone. However, if you have any comments or remarks that you would like to make to JGTO, please do not hesitate to do so.”
Earlier in August, it was made public that all four of LIV Golf’s Japanese players would not participate in the event in Boston. Because of that, Harold Varner III, Marc Leishman, Anirban Lahiri, Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, and Cameron Tringale were given the chance to feature in the event.