PGA Tour Allows Players to Participate in Abu Dhabi LIV Qualifying Event in December Without Risk of Suspension

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In a noteworthy shift from its previously firm stance on the new golf series, the PGA Tour has declared that it does not view a LIV Golf qualifying event scheduled for December as an element of an "unauthorized series." Consequently, the PGA Tour will not suspend its own players who choose to participate in the tournament in Abu Dhabi.

The PGA Tour had initially imposed a ban on LIV players participating in its events. However, recent reports have confirmed that the PGA Tour will permit its members to enter the December 8-10 event in Abu Dhabi without the risk of suspension.

The decision from the PGA Tour is rooted in its assessment of the LIV Golf Promotion event as a qualifying event exclusively, rather than an integral component of an "unauthorized series." A statement issued by the PGA Tour to the Golf Channel and Sports Illustrated clarified this stance, saying, "Based on the information publicly available regarding the LIV Golf Promotion event, it is determined to be a qualifying event only and not a part of an unauthorised series. Therefore, the LIV Golf Promotion event is not categorised as an 'unauthorized tournament.' This classification is subject to change should the details of the event change."



This moderation in the PGA's stance occurs as a year-end deadline looms for the approval of a merger framework agreement that was unveiled in June. This agreement would unite the Saudi-backed proponents of LIV, the Public Investment Fund, with the PGA and DP World tours. As negotiations continue, the PGA Tour's willingness to permit its players to enter the Abu Dhabi qualifying event indicates a potential thaw in relations between the two entities.

The December event, set to unfold at Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates, offers enticing rewards for participants. The top three players after 72 holes will secure coveted LIV Golf League berths for the 2024 season. While this PGA decision affords golfers the freedom to compete in tour events without concern, it's important to note that LIV events remain classified as part of an unauthorized series until a merger agreement is finalized.

The critical framework for the merger must gain approval from the PGA Tour Policy Board, which includes a majority of tour players and features legendary 15-time major winner Tiger Woods. As the golfing world watches these developments, the potential union between LIV and the PGA Tour remains a pivotal point of discussion, with significant implications for the sport's future.
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