LIV Golf players write to DP World Tour to rescind sanctions
Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are among 16 LIV Golf players who have written to the DP World Tour asking them to reverse their fines and allow them to play in the Scottish Open next week, according to a report.
The British golfers were among European Tour members who were banned from three upcoming DP World Tour events and fined £100,000 ($121,230) each after playing the opening event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, supported by Saudi Arabia, in London.
“Instead of devoting our time, energy, financial resources and focus to appeals, injunctions and prosecutions, we implore you … to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions,” the letter read, according to the Telegraph.
The players called on the circuit to “reverse your fines and suspensions by 5:00 p.m. Friday.”
“Otherwise, you will leave us no choice but to employ the various other means and methods available to us to right these wrongs.”
On Friday, DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley released a lengthy statement that the leaked letter contained “so many inaccuracies that it cannot go unchallenged”.
The statement read: “Before joining LIV Golf, players knew there would be consequences if they chose money over competition. Many of them at the time understood and accepted this. Indeed, as one player named in the letter said in a media interview earlier this year; ‘If they ban me, they ban me.’ It is not credible that some are now surprised at the steps we have taken.”
The US-based PGA Tour, which this week announced a 13-year partnership with the DP World Tour, has suspended players for joining the breakaway circuit. The players said in the letter that the alliance will negatively impact DP World Tour players.
“Approximately 40 DP World Tour members who would have been eligible for the Scottish Open on the DP World Tour will no longer be eligible, and will instead only have the option to go and play on the PGA Tour in Kentucky the week before. the Open, for less money but at a higher cost to participate.
“The fact that top DP World Tour players are now getting PGA Tour cards only serves to solidify DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and further exhausts top DP World Tour talent,” says the letter.
Pelley replied, “The letter asserts that these players ‘care deeply’ about the DP World Tour. An analysis of past attendance statistics on our Tour in recent years from several of the key named players suggests otherwise. One player in particular named in the note has only played six Rolex Series events in the last five years Another one, only four I wish many of them were so eager to play on our Tour when they seem the be now, on the basis that they have either resigned from his PGA Tour membership or, if still a member, have been suspended indefinitely.
“Also, given how much these players say they care about the DP World Tour, perhaps some of them could have played in Ireland this week to support our new title sponsor, especially a player who signed us a commitment to play at Mount Juliet With this player currently in action at Pumpkin Ridge, you can imagine the allegation in the letter that we are wrong is hard to accept.
“We also strongly object to an allegation made near the end of the letter that we are somehow playing ‘second fiddle’ to the PGA TOUR. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he added. .
Pelley goes on to explain the benefits of the DP World Tour’s partnership with the PGA Tour, before finally commenting on the penalties imposed on LIV players.
“Finally, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on possible legal issues… The penalties for members who have knowingly broken our rules by playing at the Centurion Club without release are proportionate, fair and, I believe, considered necessary by the majority of our members.
The second LIV event kicked off in Portland, Oregon on Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, going head-to-head with the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic.
Information from Reuters is included in this report.