One day after the PGA Tour denied its members permission to participate in the competing LIV Golf Invitational Series, multiple players who had no intention of leaving said Wednesday that the decision should not be surprising.
Justin Thomas was asked about the decision by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan one day before the start of the AT&T Byron Nelson at McKinney, Texas.
“You know, it’s like, look, if you want to go, go,” Thomas said. “I mean there’s been plenty of guys that have been advocates of it and have just talked it up all the time and they have been guys behind the scenes that are saying, ‘I’m going, I’m doing this.’ And like my whole thing is, like just go then.
“… Everybody’s entitled to do what they want, you know what I mean? Like if I wanted to go play that tour I could go play that tour. But I’m loyal to the PGA Tour.”
It remains unknown what punishment would be handed out to players who compete in the Saudi-backed events anyway. The first LIV Golf event is set for June 9-11 at London. That would be in direct conflict with the PGA Tour’s RBC Canadian Open.
“Look, if you want to (play in an LIV Golf event), no one’s stopping you, but what we have here is pretty good too, considering every week we’re playing for a pretty great purse on pretty great golf courses and the benefits that we have off the golf course on top of that it’s pretty tough to beat,” said player Will Zalatoris, who also is a member of the player advisory council.
“Purses are only going up here, but on top of that, like I said, no one’s stopping anyone from doing it. But I think everyone agrees that the decision that came out yesterday is the best for the (PGA) Tour.”
Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1-ranked player in the world who won the Masters Tournament last month, said he wasn’t aware of the PGA Tour’s decision until late Tuesday. Less than 24 hours later, his thoughts were on the same page as Thomas and Zalatoris.
“If you’re playing here on the PGA Tour, playing in something that could be a rival series to the PGA Tour, being a member of our tour, it’s definitely not something where we want our membership to do because it’s going to harm the tournament that we have opposite that,” Scheffler said.
“… I’m sure that’s why they did not release the players. Because if we have 15 guys go over there and play, that hurts the RBC and the Canadian Open.”