LIV players are preparing to fight back on the DP World Tour and have threatened legal action, claiming that the punishment handed out to them for jumping ship to the new league has been “extremely unfair and likely illegal”.
As the Daily Telegraph first reported, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are among 16 players who have been fined and banned from playing at the Genesis Scottish Open, which is due to be held at the Renaissance Club in Berwick next week as a sanctioned event. jointly between the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour. In an open letter, the players said there would be legal action against the DP World Tour unless the current sanctions are lifted by Friday.
LIV players have been fined £100,000 and are ineligible for three upcoming tournaments, including the Scottish Open, last Friday.
The letter was signed by 16 of the competitors at this week’s LIV Golf Invitational in Portland, who will likely be punished for playing in the event. It was addressed to DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley and sent to other board members, calling for the tour to negotiate in good faith with the Saudi-backed tour, or risk legal action.
The letter, in part, read: “In Mr. Pelley’s last communication, he uses the statement that every action in life has a consequence. We agree and are concerned that the Tour’s actions against us, LIV Golf and golf in general will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour, a tour and organization that, despite our recent interactions, we care deeply about.
“The intention of this letter is not to further divide us, but to respond to the Tour’s statements and raise questions that the Tour should answer and that we should discuss in detail. Rather than spend our time, energy, financial resources and focus on appeals, injunctions and lawsuits, we implore you, the custodians of the DP World Tour, to reconsider your recent sanctions and penalties and instead focus our energies on forging a way forward that is better for members of the DP World Tour and the game of golf.
“To this end, we ask that you rescind your fines and suspensions by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022. Additionally, we represent more than 5 percent of the DP World Tour membership and, per its bylaws, ask you to convene a meeting of Tour members to further discuss these important matters. Failure to do so will leave us no choice but to employ the other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these errors.”
The letter also expressed concern that the DP World Tour’s recently announced expanded relationship with the PGA Tour is not in the tour’s best interest and will leave the DP World Tour in a diminished position, playing “second fiddle.”
“We appreciate that the argument being made is that the ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour will provide an overall benefit to members of the DP World Tour; hence the competitive threat for the PGA Tour to be treated differently when it comes to pitching and other matters. ”, the letter said.
“To begin with, we do not accept that protecting the PGA Tour through this alliance can in any way justify this disparate treatment. Even if you could, what are these benefits? This is a question we have asked ourselves for many months.
“So far the option to play the Barracuda Championship instead of the Scottish Open doesn’t seem to benefit members at all. Ultimately, approximately 40 DP World Tour members who would have been eligible for the Scottish Open on the DP World Tour will now be ineligible and instead only have the option to play on the PGA Tour in Kentucky the week before the Open. , for less money but at a higher cost to participate.
“In addition, PGA Tour players have been encouraged to play the Scottish Open through a stipend to cover travel costs, but isn’t the same benefit given to DP World Tour members?! That the best players on the DP World Tour now win PGA Tour cards only serves to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and further depletes the best emerging talent on the DP World Tour. And regardless of whether this collaboration is legal, would this collaboration be happening without LIV Golf entering the market?