Keith Pelley Issues Loyalty Plea To Players Amid Saudi Threat

The DP World Tour chief has warned wantaway players of the risks facing the Tour should it lose its star names

Keith Pelley at the World Golf Hall of Fame
(Image credit: Getty Images)

According to a report in The Telegraph, the DP World Tour has issued a plea to its players to stay loyal to the status quo, warning that those jumping ship to the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series will jeopardise the future of the circuit and in particular its “heritage events”.

Members of both the DP World Tour and PGA Tour have until Monday to apply for releases to play in the first event of the inaugural LIV Golf International Series, which takes place at Centurion Golf Club in London from June 9-11.

Keith Pelley, the Tour chief, sent an email to around 200 players in an attempt to stave off the threat posed by the mega-money rebel circuit that is led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. 

“Conflicting events, regardless of how attractive they might appear to you personally, potentially compromise our efforts in these areas and could significantly hurt your Tour in both the short and long term,” Pelley wrote.

“Please, therefore, continue to bear this bigger picture in mind, particularly considering some of these conflicting events in 2022 are scheduled directly opposite some of our most prestigious ‘heritage events’, including the Horizon Irish Open, the DS Automobiles Italian Open and the Acciona Open de España – three national Opens which combined have more than 300 years of history.”

Like his opposite number on the PGA Tour Jay Monahan, Pelley has the option to ban mutineers should he wish, although has stated each request will be reviewed on a “case-by-case” basis, much like February’s Saudi International.

While it has been reported that a “handful” of players have requested releases, so far only World No. 1,043 Robert Garrigus has been named, leading many to question the standard and competitiveness of the prospective golf league.

The majority of the world’s leading players have all pledged their allegiance to either the PGA or DP World Tour, but Norman insists a host of “marquee names” will be in attendance for the $25m event in June. The likes of Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Kevin Na are all rumoured to be targets.

Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.


Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.


As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.


What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1