The Royal Bank of Canada ended its sponsorship of golfers Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell on Wednesday.
This came after the duo was included in the field for the first event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series event in England.
The 54-hole tournament starts on 9 June, the same day that the RBC Canadian Open begins in Toronto.
A day after the RBC Open issued a statement saying officials were “disappointed” former world No 1 Johnson had made the decision to play the LIV circuit, RBC itself confirmed it had severed ties with both Johnson and 2010 US Open winner McDowell of Northern Ireland.
“As a result of the decisions made by professional golfers Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell to play the LIV Golf Invitational Series opener, RBC is terminating its sponsorship agreement with both players,” RBC said in the statement. “We wish them well in their future endeavours.”
The move came as the PGA Tour confirmed that it would pursue disciplinary action against tour members who play in the money-spinning LIV series without authorisation.
The PGA Tour declined to grant releases to any players for the London tournament.
Johnson, a two-time Major champion, said in February he would stay loyal to the PGA Tour, but when the 42-strong field for next week’s tournament was released he headed the list of players who will vie for a $25-million purse.
RBC isn’t the first sponsor to drop golfers over LIV Golf. International shipping company UPS dropped England’s Lee Westwood and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen last month and six-time Major winner Phil Mickelson lost a string of sponsors after his comments in February on the controversial tour and its Saudi financial backers.
© Agence France-Presse