Controversial tournaments have dominated the agenda in recent months, creating a divide between those happy to take Saudi money and those like Tiger Woods And Rory McIlroywho have pledged their loyalty to the PGA Tour.
Here we take a look at what could happen next in the divisive saga.
Will players be penalized for participating in LIV events?
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has consistently stated that players who participate in a rival tour without receiving permission would be “subject to disciplinary action.”
Johnson’s resignation, however, means he is ineligible for the Ryder Cup, as things stand.
What will the sanctions be?
A fine is no deterrent given the amount of money players receive simply for participating, let alone the $25m (£19.9m) in prize money for each of the first seven events.
CEO of LIV Golf Greg Normand also pledged to “refund” players if they are fined.
Banning or suspending players seems to be the only option, although it would almost certainly result in a legal challenge, as players feel like “independent contractors” who should be allowed to play wherever they want.
And the majors?
The USGA announced Tuesday that it would not prevent the likes of Mickelson and Johnson from competing in next week’s U.S. Open, saying it would be “neither appropriate nor fair to competitors” to change the criteria for entry once established.
The R&A is expected to take the same approach regarding July’s Open Championship, but the USGA statement does not address what might happen in the future and emphasizes that its decision “should not be construed as supporting the ‘USGA to an alternative organizing entity, nor as support for any other organizing entity. individual player actions or comments.”
Will LIV Golf events be a success?
Disappointing sales appeared to lead to several players being asked to offer free tickets on their social media platforms over the weekend, while journalists covering the event were also offered three guest passes each.
There is currently no network television deal and the premiere event will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook, but Ian Poulter believes other players will follow with interest, particularly when the winner’s check for $4 million (£3.2 million) is handed out on Saturday.
What about the sportswashing accusations?
These issues have dominated the build-up to the series and will not go away once it begins, with Amnesty International using the day before the tournament to renew its call for players to speak out against human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.
Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Amnesty International UK, criticized the players for “circumventing the real seriousness of Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights record”, saying: “The platitudes that golf is a “force for change” means very little if the players act as unofficial arms of Saudi Arabia. the Saudi government’s public relations machine.