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The PGA Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan have been very vocal around the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but the DP World Tour and Keith Pelley have, on the most part, remained silent.
Formerly known as the European Tour, the circuit reportedly declined Saudi investment during the pandemic and instead elected to join up with the PGA Tour in a "strategic alliance" that saw the PGA Tour take a share in European Tour productions, Jay Monahan joining the board and new co-sanctioned events like next month's Scottish Open.
The decision to work closer with the PGA Tour has left the DP World Tour in an incredibly tight spot, and that position is looking more and more difficult as the days roll by with Tour and Ryder Cup stalwarts like Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell all joining the new LIV Golf series. We continue to hear nothing from Keith Pelley after the DP World Tour declined player release requests to play in the $25m Centurion Club opener, and it remains to be seen how he reacts now that it has started.
G-Mac and Sergio have resigned from the PGA Tour, whilst Westwood and Poulter are now suspended from the US circuit, with Poulter set to appeal the decision. The loss of PGA Tour starts is not a huge deal for the four, who have all amassed huge career earnings on both sides of the Atlantic and now have the lucrative eight-event LIV Series to play this year along with guaranteed Asian Tour starts and the potential to remain playing the DP World Tour, and that's not even mentioning any signing on fees with LIV that could be in the tens of millions.
The ironic thing is that Garcia, McDowell, Westwood and Poulter being banned from the PGA Tour should benefit the DP World Tour, as long as it doesn't do the same.
With the PGA Tour suspending all current and future LIV players, the DP World Tour has remained silent and it's not really known if a decision has been made on what it will do with its players who are teeing it up at the Centurion Club this week and for the remainder of the LIV Golf schedule. The PGA Tour will almost certainly want the DP World Tour to ban the likes of Westwood, Garcia, Poulter and McDowell, as well as a number of other regulars in the LIV field, but those four all seem committed to keeping their memberships in Europe with the hope of playing on, or captaining, the Ryder Cup team in the future.
"Will Keith [Pelley] follow suit? I hope he doesn't," Graeme McDowell said on the PGA Tour bans and his desire to remain a DP World Tour player. "I think he has a fantastic opportunity here with a lot of European players and European Tour players that would like to subsidise their schedule with other events, especially if we are not allowed to play on the PGA Tour."
Sergio Garcia thinks the same. "I'm European, I love the European Tour. I played it for 23 years," he said. "Even though I played on the PGA Tour, I always made sure that I kept my membership in Europe because I love The European Tour, and that's one of the reasons why I wanted to stay a member.
"Obviously we're going to have to wait and see what the European Tour does. But I definitely would like to keep my membership there, play at least my minimum, and get as good a chance as I can to make the Ryder Cup team because I love that event. But I guess we'll see. We'll wait and see what happens over there."
The DP World Tour will surely be unhappy with its players joining LIV, but a number of them are huge names and will enhance tournaments in Europe if they play, especially as they no longer can tee it up in the US. Will the DP World Tour remain loyal to the PGA Tour and ban some of its biggest names? Or will it remain loyal to Garcia, Westwood, Poulter and G-Mac, slap them on the wrists, and allow them to headline their tournaments and have futures in the Ryder Cup?
What follows next is going to be very interesting.
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
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