PGA Tour confirm Jon Rahm’s indefinite suspension as Masters champion removed from FedEx Cup eligibility list | Golf News

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in memo to players: “In accordance with the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations, Jon Rahm has been notified he is suspended and no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play due to his association with a series of unauthorised tournaments”

The PGA Tour has notified Jon Rahm he has been suspended indefinitely for signing with Saudi-funded LIV Golf, a move which sees him removed from the FedEx Cup eligibility points list.

After weeks of speculation, Rahm confirmed on Thursday that he had signed for LIV Golf in a deal understood to be worth up to £450m.

Rahm himself had stated an intention to retain his PGA Tour membership, but as has been the approach since the inaugural LIV event in June 2022, each member to join the rival circuit has been banned, with Rahm the latest despite golf’s potential merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi’s PIF.

Rahm, a former critic of LIV, will be the highest-ranked player to join the league, with the world No 3 enjoying an impressive 2023 that saw him win four times on the PGA Tour – including victory at The Masters – and be part of Europe’s successful Ryder Cup team.

“As you will recall, last year we communicated our commitment to ensure that suspended members do not negatively impact other players’ tournament eligibility, position on the Priority Rankings or eligibility to compete in the Players and Signature Events,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a memo to players.

After Rahm’s move to LIV Golf was confirmed, we take a look back at some of his remarks about the rival tour over the past year

“Consequently the Policy Board established a new ranking – called the ‘FedEx Cup Playoffs & Eligibility Points List’ – that removes players who are under suspension for their participation in an unauthorised tournament or their association with a series of unauthorised tournaments from the FedEx Cup Points List.

“In accordance with the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations, Jon Rahm has been notified that he is suspended and no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play due to his association with a series of unauthorised tournaments.”

Mackenzie Hughes and Carl Yuan are the immediate beneficiaries of Rahm’s decision to sign with the rival league.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan released a memo to players confirming Rahm’s suspension

Hughes goes from No 51 to No 50, and now is eligible for all seven of the $20m signature events in 2024. It also means Yuan, who was signed up for Q-school this week, moves up one spot to No 125 and has a full PGA Tour card for next year.

The tour last year distinguished between the FedEx Cup standings and a separate list related to eligibility for the postseason and for status. The distinction was so players defecting to LIV would not have a negative impact on those who stayed behind.

Among those who benefited last year were Rickie Fowler, who got into the postseason because of all the players who left for LIV; and Jimmy Walker and Rory Sabbatini, who moved up on the career money list and were able to use one-time exemptions to keep full status.

Butch Harmon believes Rahm’s departure might increase the urgency of the PGA Tour to form a merger with LIV Golf

This year, Hughes narrowly missed out on the top 50. He kept his 51st position through the autumn, which only would have guaranteed him spots in the first two $20m events. Now the Canadian can count on the likes of the Wells Fargo Championship in his home residence of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Social media had been buzzing about the possibility of Tony Finau – he and Rahm are close friends – also leaving for LIV. Finau took to Instagram on Monday and said he was “looking forward to playing my 10th season on the PGA Tour”.

Rich Beem gave his reaction to Rahm’s dramatic move from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf

“See y’all in Maui!” he concluded, adding the hash tag, “#imnotleaving.”

Monahan also said in the memo that the policy board and management recently met with a group of players upset that signature events will offer disproportionately more FedEx Cup points than the other events, leading to concerns it will be difficult for players outside the top 50 to fairly compete.

Monahan said the board will review how the new system is working in June and evaluate whether changes are in order for 2025.

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