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New PGA Tour rule can ban non-members for a year if they play ‘unauthorized’ events

The PGA Tour has moved to stem the flow of players to LIV Golf even beyond its own membership with a new regulation that comes with a one-year ban.

According to the regulation, which began with 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 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 regulation applies to Tour events as well as any qualifying events including Monday qualifiers for both the Tour and Korn Ferry Tour and Q-School.

Tour members who participated in LIV Golf events last year were either suspended by the circuit or relinquished their membership, but the new regulation applies to non-members such as college players or top amateurs.

One player impacted by the new rule is David Puig who played two LIV Golf events as an amateur and another after turning professional in 2022 and is unable to play any PGA Tour-sanctioned events this year.