The PGA Tour has suspended all its members who are playing in this week’s Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational.

The tournament, being held at Centurion Club near London, is the most lucrative in the history of the game with a 20-million pound sterling prize fund.

Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson is among the biggest names to be affected.

LIV Golf issued an immediate reply calling the PGA Tour “vindictive” and said this “deepens the divide between the Tour and its members”.

The statement added: “It’s troubling that the Tour, an organisation dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing.

“This certainly is not the last word on this topic. The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”