DP World Tour 'Still Evaluating' Punishment For LIV Golf Defectors

CEO Keith Pelley will assess his options over the next week regarding players signed up to the Saudi-backed Series

Keith Pelley at Augusta National in April 2022
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While the PGA Tour have acted decisively in suspending all LIV Golf Invitational Series players, until now the DP World Tour’s silence on the matter had been deafening.

High-profile DP World Tour players including Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter have all expressed a desire to retain their memberships with one eye on playing in future Ryder Cups or captaining the European team. 

Now, in a memo obtained by The Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard sent to players, CEO Keith Pelley explains that players in the Saudi-backed Series won’t face punishment - at least for the time being. The memo reads: “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. We will use the next seven days to continue to assess the impact the two conflicting events in the UK had on our own tournaments played in those weeks (the Porsche European Open and the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed) as well as on your Tour overall.”

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As well as the start-up, LIV Golf Investments has also teamed up with the Asian Tour to launch the International Series. The British leg took place at Slaley Hall the same week as the Porsche European Open. However, it’s the higher-profile of the two Series that undoubtedly leaves the DP World Tour in the trickier position. That's because it has a strategic alliance with the PGA Tour, and Monahan’s organisation is likely to expect the DP World Tour to follow suit in suspending players signing up for the LIV Golf Invitational Series

However, there could also be an opportunity for the DP World Tour to boost its own profile by allowing big-name players to continue even when they are no longer welcome on the PGA Tour. Indeed, McDowell suggested as much recently, saying: "Will Keith [Pelley] follow suit? I hope he doesn't. I think he has a fantastic opportunity here with a lot of European players and European Tour players that would like to subsidise their schedule with other events, especially if we are not allowed to play on the PGA Tour."

While it is not clear what Pelley’s next move will be, seven days takes us to 23 June, which is the commitment deadline for the Scottish Open, a co-sanctioned DP World Tour and PGA Tour event. The second LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament begins in Portland, Oregon on 30 June.

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.