Tour bans wouldn't be good look: Jones

·3-min read

Australia's Matt Jones is hoping his commitment to the Greg Norman-run LIV Golf Series won't lead to a PGA Tour suspension, saying bans wouldn't be good for golf.

The 41-year-old from Sydney received plenty of media attention on Wednesday as he prepared for the Memorial tournament in Ohio after being named in the 48-man field for the inaugural Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational outside London next week.

Jones, a two-time PGA Tour winner, received a signing bonus and is obligated to play multiple times among the eight LIV events, each with $US25 million ($A35 million) in prize money and $US4 million ($A5.6 million) to the individual winner.

He is one of 13 PGA Tour players headed by former world No.1 Dustin Johnson named to play the rival tour event, though most are not at the Memorial this week.

The PGA Tour has so far responded only by reminding of a May 10 memo in which it denied releases for them to play the first LIV event and warned of potential disciplinary action.

Jones, who is No.68 in the world, said it was a "good choice for me" for business and family and what he hopes will grow the game.

"I love the concept that we have going on that tour. Golf's a global game. I'm from Australia. I love to travel and play golf. I don't have to be stuck in one county and play golf. And I like the idea of playing a team aspect as well."

But he hasn't given up on keeping his PGA Tour membership.

"My next tour stop is ... I don't know when it is, to be honest with you. We'll see. We'll find out what happens," Jones said.

"I don't think banning players from playing on the PGA Tour as independent contractors is very good for golf. It's not a good look for anyone.

"I understand the tour wants to protect their players and the product they have out here, but I don't think that's a good way to go about it."

The first fallout after the rival league released players' names came when the Royal Bank of Canada said it was dropping Johnson and Graeme McDowell as corporate sponsors. Both are playing the LIV event, the same week as the RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour.

The UK's Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that Johnson was offered more than $US100 million ($A140 million) just to sign up for the league.

The LIV field currently has four of the top 50 in the world - Johnson (13), Louis Oosthuizen (20), Kevin Na (33) and Talor Gooch (35) - and 16 of the top 100.

Rory McIlroy described the field as not "anything to jump up and down about," particularly compared with the Memorial or the Canadian Open, which he called "proper tournaments".

But he also showed a softer side for those wanting to chase the big money.

"I certainly don't think they should drop the hammer," McIlroy said. "Look, they are well within their rights to enforce the rules and regulations that have been set. It's going to end up being an argument about what those rules and regulations are."

The regulations require a conflicting event release to play outside the PGA Tour. The next LIV event is the first week in July in Oregon. The PGA Tour does not grant releases for any tournament held in North America.

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