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, in what marks a public embarrassment to the golfers who challenged the penalty. It is now likely players such as Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter will never feature on the DP World Tour again.
Westwood, Poulter and 10 others contested the imposition of a £100,000 fine and two-week suspension after they played in LIV’s first tournament, at the Centurion Club last year, without a release from the DP World Tour. These were stayed pending the outcome of a case which was heard over five days in London in February. The Tour had argued players were in breach of membership regulations with the players insisting they were entitled to perform on a different platform.
Sport Resolutions is expected to announce this week that panel members found in favour of the Tour, who must now decide whether to pursue further financial payback for appearances in subsequent LIV events. The golfers can opt to appeal against the outcome after conversations with LIV’s legal representatives. There is also the very real prospect of the players resigning from the DP World Tour in a bid to halt the disciplinary process entirely.
A spokesperson for the DP World Tour said: “Out of respect for the confidentiality of the process conducted by Sport Resolutions, we will make no comment on any aspect of the arbitration until the decision is formally announced.”
Speaking ahead of his 15th Masters appearance, Rory McIlroy stayed clear of the controversy attached to this subject. McIlroy has sat firmly in the camp of the DP World and PGA Tours in opposition to the LIV threat.
“I don’t know if I can comment on it too much,” said the Northern Irishman. “But if that is the outcome, then that certainly changes the dynamic of everything. I’m not a lawyer. But if the arbitration panel think that’s the right decision, then I have to go by what they say.”
Source : TheGuardian