The PGA Tour has introduced a new rule in its latest bid to deter golfers who haven't yet turned professional from joining the LIV Golf series.
The Saudi-backed breakaway series has an expanded 14-event calendar this year after a successful 2022. The invitation tour attracted some of the world's top golfers including Open winner Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau last year with more players expected to join during 2023.
Colombian star Sebastian Munoz is set to be the first player of the year tempted by the huge money on offer by LIV Golf, adding to the series' growing list of Latin American talents.
Stars who have defected to the LIV Golf series are already suspended from the PGA Tour and could also be prevented from playing in DP World Tour events, pending the outcome of an arbitration case.
Some 69 players played in LIV Golf events last season when £190million in prize money was handed out across eight events. However, as more stars are recruited, others are axed from the restricted 48-player field.
Those talented amateurs or college players who are recruited and then snubbed by the LIV Golf series now face being banned from competing on the PGA Tour for 12 months.
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According to the new rule which was introduced for the 2022-23 season, “any player who has participated in an unauthorized tournament is ineligible to compete in any event sanctioned by the PGA Tour for a period of one year.”
An “unauthorized tournament” is defined in the PGA Tour player handbook as “any golf event for which the commissioner has denied or has indicated he would deny all conflicting event releases and/or media releases or not eligible for releases because it is to be held in North America.”
The new rule applies to PGA Tour events as well as any qualifying events. It is set to impact non-members to the PGA Tour such as college stars or top amateurs ready to break into the professional ranks.
During its opening season, the revolving door of players who were recruited by LIV Golf and then axed has been significant and the new rule might sway those towards the PGA Tour when deciding who to turn pro with.