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Exclusive: Mickelson among 17 golfers suspended by PGA Tour for playing LIV event

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Golf - The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational - Centurion Club, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Britain - June 9, 2022 Team Hy Flyers Phil Mickelson of the U.S. during the first round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

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Golf - The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational - Centurion Club, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Britain - June 9, 2022 Team Hy Flyers Phil Mickelson of the U.S. during the first round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

 June 9, 2022 Team Hy Flyers Phil Mickelson of the U.S. during the first round in the he inaugural LIV Golf Invitational . Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The PGA Tour suspended longtime fan favorite Phil Mickelson and all other members who decided to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series that began on Thursday and said anyone else who makes the jump will face the same fate.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan sent a letter to members not long after play in the lucrative breakaway series began outside London to address the 17 golfers who he said “decided to turn their backs” on the U.S.-based circuit.

“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons. But they can’t demand the same PGA Tour membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform as you,” Monahan wrote. “That expectation disrespects you, our fans and our partners.

“You have made a different choice, which is to abide by the Tournament Regulations you agreed to when you accomplished the dream of earning a PGA Tour card and – more importantly – to compete as part of the preeminent organization in the world of professional golf.”

Mickelson, who counts six major championships among his 45 PGA Tour wins, former world number one Dustin Johnson and 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia are among the higher-profile golfers in the 48-player field at Centurion Club this week.

According to the memo, players who join the LIV series that threatens to blow apart men’s professional golf, are no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour events, including the Presidents Cup and all other tours sanctioned by the circuit.

Even if players resigned from the tour ahead of the first LIV Golf event, as Johnson announced this week, they will not be permitted to play as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category.

Both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour had declined requests from members who had asked for releases to compete at Centurion where $25 million is up for grabs, including $4 million for the winner.

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‘VINDICTIVE’ DECISION

Players who decided to take part in the inaugural LIV Golf have faced plenty of criticism given the alleged human rights abuses by the Saudi Arabian government.

The PGA Tour’s decision triggered a quick and scathing response from LIV Golf, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and has lured players over with a $255 million purse spread over eight events this year.

“Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members,” LIV Golf said in a statement.

“It’s troubling that the Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing.

“This certainly is not the last word on this topic. The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”

Monahan did not say how long the suspensions, which also impact former major winners Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, would be in place.

“What’s next? Can these players come back?,” wrote Monahan.

“Trust that we’re prepared to deal with those questions, and we’ll approach them in the same way we have this entire process: by being transparent and respecting the PGA Tour regulations that you helped establish.”

The decision by the PGA Tour, which does not run golf’s four majors, came after the United States Golf Association said it would allow LIV golfers to play in next week’s U.S. Open if they are exempt or had already qualified.

The Royal and Ancient, which runs the British Open, said it was not planning to comment on entry conditions until after the U.S. Open while organizers of next May’s PGA Championship said it would be premature to speculate.

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Organizers of the Masters, traditionally held in April, did not respond when asked if they were evaluating entry conditions for the year’s first major.

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Exclusive: Kyrgios laughs off wardrobe questions after win – TalkOfNews.com

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Nick Kyrgios has laughed off questions regarding his on-court attire, as he opted to change his shoes and hat before taking a post-match interview following his gutsy performance in the fourth round.

Kyrgios’ detractors were desperate for something, anything, to take the shine off his impressive five-set win, where he battled a shoulder ailment throughout, receiving treatment several times.

But if his win over Stefanos Tsitsipas was a ‘circus’, as the vanquished Greek proposed it was, this was anything but.

READ MORE: Kyrgios lifts lid on move that baffled legend

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Save for a couple of words with the chair umpire late in the contest, Kyrgios was focused, and almost reserved at times.

Few sports stars are as polarising – and when Kyrgios switched his hat and shoes for a red Jordan brand cap and some matching sneakers, it gave his critics – of which there were fewer than his last match, for obvious reasons – the ammunition they needed.

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Kyrgios books ticket to quarters

On commentary, Aussie legend Todd Woodbridge said that his countryman “might receive a letter in his locker” about the hat and shoe change.

The 27-year-old’s post-win press conference was nothing like the combative environment that it was two days ago, right until the very end.

A reporter posed the idea that Kyrgios invites his own controversy, including an open flaunting of clear wardrobe rules.

“Why then would you walk on to centre court with bright red trainers on and do an interview in a red cap?” Kyrgios was asked.

The reply was typically Kyrgios.

“Because I do what I want,” he responded, before being pressed on whether or not he thought he was above the rules.

“No. I’m not above the rules. I just like wearing my Jordans.”

The line of questioning continued despite a moderator’s attempted intervention, when Kyrgios was quick to correct the journalist that he hadn’t ‘moaned’ about controversy.

“I haven’t moaned. I love it,” he said.

“Yeah, it’s just more attention for me. What’s that saying? Any publicity is good publicity, right?

“Keep doing you then champion,” he said to the question asker before moving on.

Kyrgios will get a day off before facing Chile’s Cristian Garin for a spot in the final four.

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Exclusive: The squad regroups – TalkOfNews.com

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The squad regroups

#squad #regroups

Erik ten Hag was afforded a first opportunity to work with a number of returning Reds at Carrington on Monday.

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Exclusive: De Minaur bundled out of Wimbledon in classic – TalkOfNews.com

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Cristian Garin came from two sets down and saved two match points in the fifth before beating Alex de Minaur to reach his first grand slam quarter-final at Wimbledon.

The unseeded Chilean trailed 5-3 in the first-to-10 fifth-set tiebreaker before winning six straight points to take a 9-5 lead.

He then converted his second match point to advance 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (6) on Court No.2 after four hours and 34 minutes.

LIVE UPDATES: Kyrgios holding lead over American young gun

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Garin is the first Chilean man to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Fernando Gonzales in 2009.

The 19th-seeded de Minaur had never lost a set against Garin in three previous meetings and looked set to maintain that streak when he led 3-1 in the third-set tiebreaker. The Australian then held two match points at 5-4 in the fifth.

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