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LIV Golf players threaten DP World Tour with legal action

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LIV players are preparing to hit back at the DP World Tour and have threatened legal action, saying the punishment they received for jumping ship to join the upstart league was “grossly unfair and likely illegal”.

As first reported by The Daily Telegraph, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are among 16 players who have been fined and banned from playing at the Genesis Scottish Open, which will be played at the Renaissance Club in Berwick next week in the part of a co-sanctioned event 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.

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The LIV players have been hit with £100,000 fines 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 the event. It was addressed to DP World Tour’s Managing Director, Keith Pelley, and sent to other board members, and called on the tour to negotiate in good faith with the Saudi-backed tour, under penalty of of legal proceedings.

The letter, in part, said: “In Mr. Pelley’s latest communication, he uses the statement that every action in life has a consequence. We agree and are concerned that the actions of the Tour against us, LIV Golf and golf in general will adversely affect the DP World Tour, a tour and an organization which, despite our recent interactions, we care deeply about. .

“The intention of this letter is not to further divide us, but to respond to statements from the Tour and ask questions that the Tour should answer and that we should discuss in detail. Instead of devoting our time, our energy , our financial resources and to focus on appeals, injunctions and prosecutions, we implore you, the guardians of the DP World Tour, to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions, and focus our energies on forging a way forward that is best for DP World Tour members and the game of golf.

“To that end, we ask that you rescind your fines and suspensions by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022. Additionally, we represent over 5% of DP World Tour members and under its bylaws we ask that you convene a meeting of Tour members to further discuss these important issues. Otherwise, you will leave us no choice but to employ the various other means and methods available to us to right those wrongs.

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 interests and will leave the DP World Tour in a diminished position, playing “second fiddle”.

“We appreciate the argument being made that ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour will provide an overall benefit to DP World Tour members – hence the competitive threat to the PGA Tour being treated differently with respect to outings. and other matters,” the letter said.

“To begin with, we do not accept that the protection of the PGA Tour by this alliance can in any way justify this disparate treatment. Even if it were possible, what are these advantages? It is a question that we have been asking ourselves for many years. many months.

“So far the option of playing the Barracuda Championship instead of the Scottish Open does not appear to benefit members at all. Ultimately, around 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 instead only have the option of going to play on the PGA Tour in Kentucky the week before the Open, for less money but at a higher cost to participate.

“Additionally, PGA Tour players have been encouraged to play the Scottish Open with a stipend to cover travel costs, but the same benefit is not given to DP World Tour members?! The fact that the top DP World Tour players are now getting PGA Tour cards only serves to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and further drains the top DP World Tour talent. And regardless of whether this collaboration is legal, would this collaboration happen without LIV Golf entering the market? »

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