LIV Golf competitors face discipline from DP World Tour: ‘Not fair to the majority’

LIV Golf competitors face discipline from DP World Tour: ‘Not fair to the majority’

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LIV Golf competitors who competed at the Saudi-backed league’s first event earlier this month faced discipline from the DP World Tour on Friday.

The DP World Tour, which is a part of the PGA European Tour, said the golfers who competed in London at the Centurion Club, didn’t receive releases to play. Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Richard Bland, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Bernd Wiesberger, Sam Horsfield, Adrian Otaegui, Oliver Fisher, Graeme McDowell, Wade Ormsby and Pablo Larrazabal were the players in question. They were fined and suspended by the organization.

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Sergio Garcia plays a tee shot during the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried on June 26, 2022, in Munich, Germany.

Sergio Garcia plays a tee shot during the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried on June 26, 2022, in Munich, Germany. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The golfers received a fine of £100,000 each (equivalent to just over $122,000) and were suspended for the upcoming Genesis Scottish Open, Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship next month.

“Every action anyone takes in life comes with a consequence and it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members,” DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said in a statement.

“Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour, but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf that has been the bedrock of our game for the past half a century and which will also be the foundation upon which we build the next 50 years.”

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A DP World Tour flag flies over the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on Jan. 26, 2022, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

A DP World Tour flag flies over the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on Jan. 26, 2022, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Luke Walker/Getty Images)

The organization said any potential infractions would result in more sanctions. The fines will be added to the prize funds of upcoming tournaments and put toward other charitable causes.

“Their actions are not fair to the majority of our membership and undermine the Tour, which is why we are taking the action we have announced today,” Pelley added.

The PGA Tour recently announced an increase in prize money.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said an increase in prize money was in the works from its latest media rights deal in 2020, noting that the threat of LIV Golf accelerated some of those plans. He announced a streamlined schedule – January to August starting in 2024 – with seven tournaments worth $20 million or more and fewer spots available for its postseason.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks during a news conference before the start of the Travelers Championship, June 22, 2022, in Cromwell, Connecticut.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks during a news conference before the start of the Travelers Championship, June 22, 2022, in Cromwell, Connecticut. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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The fall would be for the players who finished outside the top 70 to secure cards for the following year, and to give them a chance to move into the top 50 – to secure spots in some elite $20 million tournaments.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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