LIV Golf rebels handed February date for decision over DP World Tour future

  • Suspension and fine remain on hold for five months
  • Five-day February hearing will decide fate of rebels

D-day for members of the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, who are seeking clearance to continue to play in that environment despite joining LIV Golf, will arrive in early February.

Last month an arbitration judge placed a pause on sanctions – a suspension plus £100,000 fine – against golfers including the Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio García and Graeme McDowell who featured on the LIV platform without being cleared to do so by the DP World Tour. Poulter, Justin Harding and Adrián Otaegui had fronted that legal challenge.

Eighteen LIV recruits are expected to tee up when the DP World Tour stages its marquee event, the PGA Championship, at Wentworth next week. In demonstrating how volatile this scenario is, none of the 18 will play in the pre-tournament pro-am or appear on television’s featured groups. The latest blow in the battle between LIV and golf’s established tours was struck on Tuesday, with LIV announcing the signing of the Open champion, Cameron Smith.

The Guardian has now learned the full hearing, presided over by Sport Resolutions UK, will take place in front of a panel over five days in little over five months’ time. Until that point LIV rebels can continue participate in DP World Tour events where eligible, collect Ryder Cup qualification points and feature on the order of merit. This opens the door for the involvement of the players in question in the Race to Dubai finale in November plus the Middle East swing in January 2023.

The timeframe is in stark contrast to on the opposite side of the Atlantic, where a legal objection to PGA Tour bans by a handful of LIV members will not be heard until the autumn of next year at the earliest.

On the day when Ryder Cup Europe confirmed the captain, Luke Donald, will have six wildcard picks for the biennial event in Rome next September, the DP World Tour’s chief executive, Keith Pelley, sent an upbeat correspondence to members. DP World Tour prize funds are guaranteed to increase to record levels for each of the next five years, with major schedule changes in the pipeline for 2024.

Donald will have three automatic qualifiers from each of the European and world points lists. Qualification begins at Wentworth and concludes three weeks before Europe seek to win back the trophy from the United States. A modification to the points system, Donald believes, provides increased opportunity for players competing predominantly on the DP World Tour than was previously the case.

“The six picks give me flexibility to ensure we have the strongest lineup at Marco Simone in terms of in-form players, players with Ryder Cup experience, and potential pairings,” said Donald. “We have also moved the end of the qualification period forward to give the players the right amount of preparation time once they have made the team.”


Exclusive by Ewan Murray

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
DP World Tour wins landmark arbitration case against LIV Golf rebels
The DP World Tour was correct to impose sanctions on members who appeared on the rebel LIV circuit without permission, an arbitration panel has determined

Ewan Murray at Augusta National

04, Apr, 2023 @5:55 PM

Article image
Porsche may withdraw backing after DP World Tour suspends LIV Golf rebels
Paul Casey and Martin Kaymer have been banned from the European Open and Porsche may remove its backing from the tournament in Hamburg as a result

Ewan Murray

12, May, 2023 @3:32 PM

Article image
Mickelson tells golf world to prepare for more duels with LIV rebels
Phil Mickelson has told the golf world to prepare for more jousts involving LIV rebels on the DP World Tour

Ewan Murray

31, Jan, 2023 @12:11 PM

Article image
The fate of golf’s European Tour appears to be in the eye of the beholder | Ewan Murray
The rise of LIV Golf presents a threat but the state of the establishment appears to vary depending on who is asked

Ewan Murray

21, Jan, 2023 @8:00 AM

Article image
Keith Pelley hits back over ‘unfair’ comments about DP World Tour
The chief executive is unhappy about criticism from LIV Golf members while the DP World Tour and PGA Tour will have no say on LIV’s bid for world ranking recognition

Ewan Murray in Dubai

23, Jan, 2023 @3:19 PM

Article image
PGA Tour feared it would be ruined by LIV Golf without unifying deal
Documents retrieved by a US Senate committee show there were plans for Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to play under the LIV umbrella

Ewan Murray

11, Jul, 2023 @8:50 PM

Article image
PGA Tour confident it can see off any US investigation into LIV Golf alliance
PGA Tour and LIV’s proposed merger could face review over antitrust concerns, while Phil Mickelson was heckled during the first round of the US Open

Ewan Murray at LA Country Club

16, Jun, 2023 @5:53 PM

Article image
García to quit European Tour and Ryder Cup captain Stenson may join LIV rebels
Sergio García said he would resign from the DP World Tour – formerly the European Tour – making himself ineligible for the Ryder Cup, after completing probably his last round in the Open Championship

Michael Butler and Ewan Murray at St Andrews

17, Jul, 2022 @9:58 PM

Article image
LIV tour to demand world ranking recognition at St Andrews meeting
The rebel tour’s latest attempt to gain a foothold in the sport will come at a board meeting of the Official World Golf Ranking on the eve of the Open Championship

Exclusive by Ewan Murray

10, Jul, 2022 @6:00 PM

Article image
Breakaway league sets golfers on collision course with DP World Tour
Members of the DP World Tour who play in June’s $25m Saudi Arabian-backed event in Hertfordshire are likely to face penalties but Phil Mickelson could return to action

Ewan Murray

27, Apr, 2022 @5:12 PM