LIV Golf rebels are NOT invited to this year’s coveted Pro-Member at the prestigious Seminole, reveals president Jimmy Dunne, who insists PGA Tour stars get priority for the ‘special and unique’ event
LIV Golf rebels are not welcome at next month’s Pro-Member tournament at Seminole Golf Club in Florida after their defection to the Saudi-backed circuit last year.
The annual event, which is held on the Monday after the conclusion of the Honda Classic, often attracts some of the PGA Tour’s biggest stars with the field previously including World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
The event has also previously seen the likes of Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson tee it up with more than a dozen players who later defected to LIV featuring in last year’s edition.
LIV Golf rebels are not welcome at next month’s Pro-Member tournament at Seminole
The annual event will be held on February 27 at one of the USA’s most prestigious golf clubs
But they will no longer be invited to the high-profile event on February 27 said Jimmy Dunne, the president of Seminole, one of the USA’s most prestigious golf clubs.
Dunne, a veteran Wall Street figure, reportedly lost many friends during the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, where his company Sandler O’Neill was based.
LIV is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and, although the Saudi government has not been directly linked to the 9/11 attacks, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
Jimmy Dunne, the president of Seminole, said LIV Golf defectors will not be invited this year
But Dunne insisted the decision was made based on the priority for PGA Tour members.
‘We are doing what we have always done,’ he 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.’
LIV Golf rebels were suspended from the PGA Tour the minute they hit their first shot at one of the breakaway’s events, while some, including Johnson, chose to resign their membership.
Dunne pictured with Rory McIlroy (L) and Dustin Johnson (R) who have featured previously
Defectors who played in the 2022 edition of the Pro-Member, include Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen, who partnered NFL great Tom Brady.
Meanwhile, McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay were among the PGA Tour loyalists who played in 2022.
Dunne has previously partnered Mickelson and played alongside Johnson last year.
Dunne has previously partnered chief defector Phil Mickelson (L) at the annual event
‘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, who has been the president of Seminole since 2012, was appointed to the board of the PGA Tour recently.
He joined two other Seminole members on the board, Ed Herlihy and Mark Flaherty, a Goldman Sachs executive, who won the Pro-Member last year with Cantlay.
Dunne is a member of the board of the PGA Tour. Pictured with commissioner Jay Monahan (L)