(Reuters) - Britain's Ian Poulter said he will appeal his suspension from the PGA Tour for playing in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.
The breakaway circuit has shaken the sport to its core, with the likes of six-times major champion Phil Mickelson and former world number one Dustin Johnson signing up.
Poulter was among 17 golfers sanctioned by the U.S.-based Tour shortly after play got underway at LIV Golf's inaugural event outside London on Thursday.
"I will appeal for sure. It makes no sense," the former world number five said after carding a five-over 75 in the opening round at Centurion Club.
"Having two Tour cards and the ability to play golf all over the world, what's wrong with that?
"I didn't resign my membership because I don't feel I have done anything wrong. I have played all over the world for 25 years. This is no different ... it's a power struggle and it's just disappointing."
In a letter sent to members by PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, those who join the lucrative breakaway series will not be permitted to play on the circuit as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category.
LIV Golf is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) and is offering prize money worth $255 million across eight events.
Former U.S Open champion Graeme McDowell revealed that he had reluctantly resigned from the PGA Tour 30 minutes before teeing off on Thursday while past Masters winner Sergio Garcia said he was "not bothered" by the suspension.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)