Ian Poulter Overturns Scottish Open Ban After Legal Action

The Englishman is back in the Scottish Open along with Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding

Ian Poulter walks past fans
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding have had their Scottish Open bans "temporarily stayed" after taking legal action against the DP World Tour. 

The Englishman, one of the 'Sour 16' - the name reportedly given to the DP World Tour's LIV Golf players from their fellow European circuit pros - along with Otaegui and Harding to have threatened the Tour with court proceedings, challenged DP World Tour chief Keith Pelley's decision to stop them from playing in this week's event at the Renaissance Club following moves to the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Keith Pelley said "we are disappointed by the outcome of today’s hearing."

According to The Telegraph, Poulter's case was heard at the International Dispute Resolution Centre by Sports Resolutions, an independent body that is said to quickly settle disputes without the need of the High Court. Poulter was reportedly acting “independently”, with Otaegui and Harding likely doing the same.

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

"Following a hearing before HHJ Sycamore CBE, appointed by Sport Resolutions (UK), suspensions imposed on Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding have been temporarily stayed, pending determination of their substantive appeals by an Appeal Panel in due course," the DP World Tour said in a statement.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, said: “Out of respect for JP and Noreen McManus, their wonderful Pro-Am and the outstanding fundraising they undertake on behalf of charities in the west of Ireland, I will not be giving a detailed response on this matter right now.

“I will simply say we are disappointed by the outcome of today’s hearing, but will abide by the decision. It is important to remember, however, this is only a stay of the sanctions imposed, pending the hearing of the players’ appeal as to whether those sanctions were appropriate.

“The make-up of the field for the Genesis Scottish Open will be advised in due course, but based on this decision the field size will increase beyond 156. We will make further comment on this in due course, but not during our time at Adare Manor.”

Poulter awaited the verdict from his legal team whilst also playing at the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor in Ireland, which both Pelley and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan are playing in.

“I feel disappointed, I feel offended, that I'm suspended from playing on a tour I've been a member of for nearly a quarter of a century,” Poulter told The Telegraph.

“My commitment to my European Tour card was always to continue and play more events. But I've been told I can't so I’m waiting to hear a panel's review to see if I can go and play [the Scottish Open]. Hopefully, we can get it lifted.

“We didn’t know what the consequences of playing for LIV would be. We knew there would be some form of action, but it was never spelled out to us, and I feel the action they have taken is too severe.  

“Look, because of my commitment to golf I’ve missed seeing my kids grow up, take their first steps, and many other family moments. Now I’ve got the chance to spend a lot more time at home, and earn a lot of money - and at 46, the game isn’t getting easier, so why wouldn’t I take it?”

All DP World Tour players to join LIV Golf were banned from the Scottish Open as well as the Barbasol and Barracuda Championships. They were also given £100,000 fines. All PGA Tour players who joined LIV have been suspended indefinitely, meaning the PGA-DP World Tour co-sanctioned Scottish Open was a no go. DP World Tour honorary life member Patrick Reed was removed from the field on Sunday evening.

Golf Monthly understands that the DP World Tour is thought to be leaning towards banning LIV Golf players from the Ryder Cup, with a decision set to be made before the start of the qualification period - which has not yet been announced. It means that the Ryder Cup futures of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Sam Horsfield among others - either as players or captains - are currently hanging in the balance.

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x