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Seminole Golf Club to LIV Golfers: You’re not welcome

The most prestigious Pro-Member tournament in the country has told LIV Golfers they are not welcome.

Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach will not invite players who have defected from the PGA Tour to the league financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The event is held every year on the Monday after the final round of the Honda Classic and the field typically is stronger than some events on the PGA Tour.

Golfweek first reported the story.

Jimmy Dunne, the president of Seminole, made the decision not to invite LIV players.

“We are doing what we have always done,” Dunne told Golfweek. “PGA Tour players get the first priority. This event has always been supported by the PGA Tour. We try to make this a special and unique day for tour players.”

Last year’s field included four players currently ranked in the top 10 in the world: No. 1 Rory McIlroy of Jupiter, No. 3 Jon Rahm, No. 5 Patrick Cantlay of Jupiter and No. 9 Justin Thomas of Tequesta.

The LIV Golf League and the PGA Tour are involved in a series of antitrust claims after the tour banned all players who have participated in an LIV event from playing PGA Tour events.

LIV signed a handful of PGA Tour stars, including Phil Mickelson, Cameron Smith, Jupiter’s Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Jupiter’s Brooks Koepka. Johnson and DeChambeau are among those who played in the 2022 Pro-Member and later signed with LIV, along with Harold Varner III, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Bubba Watson. Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and Peter Uihlein. Schwartzel, Grace and Uihlein live in Jupiter.

Dunne started his career on Wall Street and is vice chairman and senior managing principal of Piper Sandler. He lost many friends in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, where his company was based. Families and survivors of those attacks have held several protests against LIV Golf. Of the 19 terrorists who hijacked the four planes on 9/11, 15 were reported to be Saudi nationals.

“Candidly, I have a pretty good relationship with most people,” Dunne said. “These guys had a choice to make, but they’ve made it. That’s it. I’m not going to say something nasty about guys who participated in the past.”

Dunne has been president of Seminole since 2012 and was recently appointed to the board of the PGA Tour. The Pro-Member began in 2004.

Source: msn.com