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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rival Tour Players Face PGA Ban

PONTE VEDRA, Florida -- PGA Tour members will be banned from its tournaments if they play on the proposed rival World Tour, PGA Tour commissioner Timothy Finchem said.


Finchem said in a conference call Tuesday that PGA Tour golfers must choose between the long-established PGA Tour and the World Tour, said to be ready to begin next year.


Finchem said that any player who participates in World Tour events, "barring some unique circumstances unforeseen at this time, would be suspended."


Finchem, who said he knows of no other player except Australian Greg Norman who is interested in playing on the World Tour, said that if the new Tour gets under way, "our members will have to decide whether they want to continue to play on the PGA Tour or play on a new tour."


The World Tour is proposing an eight-tournament schedule next year. Several events conflict with tournaments sanctioned by the PGA Tour.


Finchem also referred to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which is investigating Tour rules as possible restraint of trade, due to the Tour's insistence that it has the right to prevent its players from competing in rival events.


Finchem said the PGA Tour is prepared to resist the FTC and go to court.


If all else fails, he said the Tour would go to Congress in an attempt to get an exemption for the Tour on the grounds, as Finchem contends, that it is organized in the best interests of the public.


Finchem listed the PGA's long-term contractual commitments to tournament sponsors and television networks among the reasons for the tour's firm stance.


Finchem held out an olive branch of sorts to Norman -- the Tour's second leading money winner this year -- asking him and others involved in the proposed World Tour to work with the PGA Tour to consider a series of international competitions that would be compatible with each other.