DP World Tour breaks silence over LIV Golf and sets date for potential punishment

·2-min read
DP World Tour breaks silence over LIV Golf and sets date for potential punishment

The DP World Tour says it has yet to decide how to punish players who joined the breakaway LIV Golf series due to the “complexity” of the situation, as it determines whether to follow the PGA Tour’s stance by suspending those who violated their release regulations.

In a memo sent to DP World Tour players by its chief executive Keith Pelley, players were informed a decision would be made on Thursday 23 June, following this weekend’s U.S. Open and ahead of the BMW International Open in Germany.

The inaugural event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has caused significant unrest in the game, casting a shadow over the U.S. Open, with the US-based PGA Tour already confirming that players who broke their rules by competing at Centurion Cub last week or any future LIV events will be banned.

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The DP World Tour, which works in conjunction with the PGA Tour and is the second-most prominent of the professional tours, said there had been “frustration” from players regarding the lack of response but Pelley said the organisation was still “evaluating” an overall course of action.

“During discussions in Sweden last week, and through additional private correspondence, some members asked me why we simply do not follow what the PGA Tour have done and immediately suspend these players,” Pelley said.

“While I understand the frustration, I remind you all that although we work closely with the PGA Tour, we are different organisations and our rules and regulations are therefore different too.

“From many of your messages and my conversations, I know that many of you share the same viewpoint that Jay Monahan expressed in his note to PGA Tour members, namely that the players who have chosen this route have disrespected the vast majority of the members of this Tour.

“As for what we are going to do, because of the complexity of our situation we are still evaluating an overall course of action.”

Lee Westwood, an LIV Golf player, won the DP World Tour Championship in 2020 (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood, an LIV Golf player, won the DP World Tour Championship in 2020 (Getty Images)

Pelley added: “Part of this assessment will be discussions with our board about the precise nature of any potential sanctions to be imposed on members who have breached our regulations. We will clarify our position next Thursday, June 23, the day entries close for the Genesis Scottish Open.”

Pelley had previously written to players on May 23, ahead of the first LIV Golf event at Centurion Club, informing them that they reserved the right to refuse their requests for a release to play in “conflicting events”.

Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel - the winner of the first LIV Golf event last weekend - are among the breakaway players with ties to the DP World Tour.

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