Europeans Among Pros To Threaten DP World Tour With Legal Action After LIV Golf Bans

A fiery letter from 16 DP World Tour players obtained by the Telegraph shows the threat of legal action if bans and fines for playing in the LIV Golf Series aren't rescinded

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood pictured on the golf course
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are among 16 LIV Golf players who have threatened the DP World Tour with legal action after being banned from the Scottish Open and fined £100,000.

In a letter obtained by The Telegraph, the 16 players, which will likely include Europeans such as Poulter, Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer, said that the Tour's actions to ban and fine players "will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour."

Video: What is LIV Golf?

The letter also 'implored' the DP World Tour to "reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions" and rescind the fines and suspensions by 5pm on Friday. If the Tour doesn't rescind the bans and fines, the players will be taking legal action. "If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs," the letter reads.

The letter also criticised the Tour's link up with the PGA Tour and specifically the co-sanctioned Scottish Open and Barracuda Championship, saying that some DP World Tour players have been forced out of the Scottish Open to make way for PGA Tour players and have instead been made to fly to Kentucky to play for a smaller purse in the week before the 150th Open. The PGA Tour is also reportedly helping players with travel costs to the Scottish Open, which is something the DP World Tour is not doing for its players who'll be teeing it up in the Barracuda.

The 16 players were also critical of the DP World Tour's new deal with the PGA Tour that will see the top 10 players on the Race to Dubai rankings earn cards for the US circuit. "That the DP World Tour top performers will now earn PGA Tour cards serves only to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and depletes the DP World Tour’s top rising talent even further," the letter reads.

DP World Tour chief Keith Pelley responded to the letter with a strongly worded statement where he said the letter "contains so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged."

Read the letter:

“In Mr Pelley’s latest communication, he uses the statement that every action in life comes with a consequence. We agree, and we are concerned that the actions of the Tour against us, LIV Golf, and golf in general will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour, a tour and an organisation that, despite our recent interactions, we care deeply for. 

“The intention of this letter is not to further divide us, but to respond to Tour statements and to pose questions that the Tour should answer and we should discuss in detail. Instead of spending our time, energy, financial resources, and focus on appeals, injunctions, and lawsuits, we would implore you, the custodians of the DP World Tour, to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions, and instead focus our energies on forging a path forward that is better for the DP World Tour members and the game of golf.  

“To this end, we ask that you rescind your fines and suspensions by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 1, 2022. In addition, we represent over 5 percent of the DP World Tour membership and, under its articles of association, we ask you to convene a meeting of Tour membership to discuss these important matters further. If not, you will leave us  with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs.

“We appreciate that the argument being put forward is that the ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour will provide overall benefit to DP World Tour members - hence the competitive threat to the PGA Tour being treated differently when it comes to releases and other matters.

“To begin with, we do not accept that protecting the PGA Tour through this alliance could in any way justify this disparate treatment. Even if it could, what are these benefits? This a question we have asked for many months. 

“Thus far, the option to play the Barracuda Championship instead of the Scottish Open doesn’t appear to be one that benefits the membership 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 not be eligible, and  instead will only have the option to go and 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 the same benefit is not afforded to DP World Tour  members?! That the DP World Tour top performers will now earn PGA Tour cards serves only to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and depletes the DP World Tour’s top rising talent even further. And without regard to  whether this collaboration is lawful, would this collaboration be happening without LIV Golf entering the market?”

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x