Keith Pelley Confirms Stance On LIV Players In BMW PGA Field

After news emerged the rebels can't play in the pro-am, the DP World Tour CEO has confirmed his stipulations for the rebels

DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley at the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Next week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth promises to be a high-profile event for more than one reason.

Not only is it the DP World Tour’s flagship event, with a suitably strong field including newly crowned FedEx Cup winner Rory McIlroy, a significantly higher purse than usual of $8m and the first tournament to earn points towards Ryder Cup qualification, but it will also include 18 LIV Golf players.

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

The appearance of players from the controversial Saudi-backed Series has already caused disquiet among some other players, including McIlroy and US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, who will also play next week, and that was before any intervention from the DP World Tour.

However, that changed when it was reported in The Telegraph that LIV Golf players would be excluded from the pro-am and encouraged not to wear LIV Golf apparel at the tournament. Further details have now emerged on the DP World Tour's stance in a memo from CEO Keith Pelley obtained by The Golf Channel. It read: “They will not be given any on course competitive disadvantage – i.e. unfavorable tee times – but they will not be required to play in the pro-am on Wednesday and will not be in TV featured groups.”

Facing awkward encounters from fellow pros, missing out on the pro-am and being asked not to wear LIV Golf apparel would likely leave even the thickest-skinned players feeling unwanted, but their exclusion from featured TV groups will come as another blow to the rebels – including Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Patrick Reed – who intend to tee it up at Wentworth.

It’s not the first time the DP World Tour has apparently sought to make an example of LIV Golf players with groupings. In June’s BMW International Open in Germany, nine of the 10 players who took part in the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event were grouped together, seemingly to make a statement from the powers-that-be that, while eligible for the tournament, they were not considered welcome.

LIV Golf players are permitted to play in next week’s tournament due to an injunction that temporarily prevents the DP World Tour suspending them from competing in its tournaments. The ruling is due after a full legal hearing next February.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

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.