Ryder Cup legends Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter resigned from the DP World Tour last week, and more LIV Golf players are reportedly set to follow.
According to The Telegraph’s Golf Correspondent James Corrigan, remaining DP World Tour members who play on the newer circuit face the prospect of £500,000 fines (approximately $630,000) this week for teeing it up on the newer circuit without the Tour’s permission.
The power to impose such fines has come the way of the DP World Tour following an arbitration hearing that ruled in its favor against LIV Golf players, who had hoped to continue playing on the Tour without facing sanctions.
LIV Golf players including Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer, Paul Casey, Brandon Grace and Charl Schwartzel are still members of the DP World Tour, but there is increasing doubt as to how long that will remain the case given the punishments they face for continuing on the rival circuit. Indeed, the Telegraph reports that the latter two are particularly close to following Garcia, Westwood and Poulter in handing in their resignations.
Last year, it was revealed that LIV Golf would pay the fines of the 17 players who competed in its inaugural event in London, amounting to £1.7m, and it is reported that it transferred £700,000 to the DP World Tour before last week’s deadline , but did not specify which seven players the payment relates to. There is also uncertainty over whether LIV Golf would be willing to continue paying fines of players who wish to retain their memberships.
Nevertheless, according to a Telegraph source, several players remain keen to stay on the DP World Tour. The source revealed: “At the meeting the players held in the LIV event at Singapore a number made it clear that they wanted to retain their Tour memberships, but it is evidently going to be costly.
“Some reports said the players could be hit with bills of £1m each, but that was never likely. But the fines will be eye-watering, nevertheless, and could keep rising the more LIV events that they play in.”
The Telegraph also reports that, while Westwood and Poulter have settled their fines for their Centurion Club appearance, Garcia is yet to pay. Meanwhile, the Tour is also considering finding the trio for subsequent appearances for LIV Golf.
Following the resignations of the three players last week, the DP World Tour released a statement thanking them for their contributions to the Tour, but it also stressed that “their resignations… along with the sanctions imposed upon them, are a consequence of their own choices .”
This week, the players are preparing to compete in the LIV Golf Oklahoma event. Whether the field will contain more former DP World Tour players could soon become clear.