DP World Tour responds to threat of legal action from LIV Golf players
In a statement shared with CNN, DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said the letter, which was published in an exclusive report in The Telegraph, contained ‘so many inaccuracies’ that it could not stand undisputed.
Last week, the Tour fined the 16 players £100,000 ($121,230) each and banned them from several events, including the Scottish Open, for playing in the inaugural event of the LIV Golf series without having received the appropriate authorizations to do so.
According to the DP World Tour Membership Rules Manual, players must receive permission to participate in an event scheduled concurrently with a DP World Tour event.
The Tour also warned that future participation in the Saudi-backed breakaway series, without the required release, could lead to further sanctions.
On Thursday, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, along with 14 other golfers, called on the DP World Tour in an open letter to waive the fines and allow them to play next week’s Scottish Open by 5 p.m. on Friday 8 July according to the Telegraph.
« Instead of devoting our time, energy, financial resources and focus to appeals, injunctions and prosecutions, we implore you… to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions, » the letter read, according to the Telegraph. .
« Otherwise, you will leave us no choice but to employ the various other means and methods available to us to right these wrongs. »
Pelley, of DP World Tour, said players were aware of the potential consequences before taking part in the event in London.
« Indeed, as one player named in the letter said in a media interview earlier this year; ‘If they ban me, they ban me.’ It is not credible that some are now surprised at the steps we have taken. »
Last month, the PGA Tour announced that all golfers who have played in the controversial series will be banned indefinitely from participating in Tour-sanctioned tournaments.
LIV Golf is organized by LIV Golf Investments and backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the man that a report of U.S. intelligence has named the operation that led to the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as the acquittal.
The crown prince denied ordering Khashoggi’s murder, but said he bore responsibility. “It was a heinous crime,” he said in a 2019 CBS interview. “But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by people working for the Saudi government. »
The second event in the LIV Golf series kicked off Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club near Portland, Oregon.