The DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour, has taken a hard stance against those who competed in the rebel LIV Golf event earlier in June.
They will fine all of those involved at the Centurion Club in London a cool £100,000, and perhaps more pertinently has banned them from playing in the Scottish Open – usually used as an important prep event for the Open Championship.
The chief executive of the DP World Tour, Keith Pelley, believes those involved have ‘disrespected’ the natural order in professional golf. He said:
“Every action anyone takes in life comes with a consequence and it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members.
“Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour, but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf.”
There will be plenty who suggest that the fines aren’t big enough – of those who played and are accredited to the DP World Tour, Bernd Wiesberger and Sihwan Kim finished in joint 43rd of 48 players and earned a handsome £104,000 for the privilege. Hennie du Plessis, who finished runner-up, banked a colossal £1.7 million.
The DP World Tour have taken a harsher stance than their counterparts on the PGA TOUR, who simply suspended the 17 players from their membership who featured. It has not been confirmed as yet how long that suspension will last.
Because the Open Championship is organised by the R&A, as opposed to the DP or PGA TOUR officials, the LIV rebels will be allowed to play in the fourth major of the year. Meanwhile, the next LIV Golf event will take place in Portland in the United States, with the action getting underway on June 30.
Koepka the Latest to Jump Ship
Just when the PGA TOUR were hoping that the list of players jumping ship to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf had come to an end, they were hit with another bombshell.
Brooks Koepka, the four-time major champion, is the latest to confirm his interest in playing on the breakaway tour – effectively ending his membership with the PGA.
Koepka has been added to the field of the event in Portland, where he will join his old sparring partner Bryson DeChambeau amongst others.
The move has been hailed by LIV commissioner Greg Norman, who said:
“The addition of Brooks is yet another example of the incredible fields LIV Golf is assembling as we build momentum in our first season and look towards the future.”
Rory McIlroy, who has reiterated his desire to stay on the PGA TOUR, has hit out at the defectors for their ‘duplicitous’ behaviour, although he won’t have been warmed by the words of his effective employer Jay Monahan, the PGA’s commissioner.
“If this is an arms race and if the only weapons are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can’t compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in an attempt to buy the game of golf,” he said.