Report: Ryder Cup Legends Facing Huge £1m Fines After Joining LIV Golf

After a landmark ruling went in their favour, the DP World Tour are reportedly considering fining players who joined LIV Golf up to £1m each

Lee Westwood Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter at LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

European golfers who moved to LIV Golf could now face huge fines of up to £1 million after the DP World Tour won a landmark ruling this month.

A Sports Resolution panel ruled in favour of the DP World Tour and upheld their right to fine players such as Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood £100,000 for them playing in the inaugural LIV Golf event in London.

But now, Mail Sport is reporting that Keith Pelley and the Tour are considering fining players for every single LIV Golf event they've teed it up in.

After the DP World Tour's 'conflicting event' regulation was upheld, the organisation is now mulling over the full extent of the sanctions they want to hand out to players who joined LIV.

And instead of just one blanket fine for every player who moved to Greg Norman's new Saudi-backed tour, reports state that senior figures in European golf are looking at fines for every event they've taken part in.

There were eight events in the 2022 debut season of LIV Golf, and already four in the 2023 LIV Golf League now being played this year.

Under the proposal, fines would be adjusted depending on what events players took part in - and when and where they were staged, with bigger fines reserved for events such as London and Spain that are in DP World Tour markets.

That could lead to hefty fines for Poulter, Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell who have played in all 12 LIV tournaments so far, while Paul Casey has played in 11.

Keith Pelley speaks at a DP World Tour event

Keith Pelley is considering big fines for LIV Golf players

(Image credit: Getty Images)

However, Norman has said previously that LIV Golf and their vast Saudi wealth will cover the cost of any fines imposed.

‘It’s not a threat, we anticipated it," Norman said at the first LIV Golf event. "All the players I’ve told: 'We’ve got your back'. We’ll defend, we’ll reimburse and we’ll represent – simple as that.’"

With 17 DP World Tour players in the event at Centurion last year, there's a £1.7m fine that needs to be paid by someone at the start of May - and if fines are introduced as reported then the costs to LIV Golf will soon mount up. 

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.