DP World Tour Responds to Legal Action Threatened by LIV Golfers

In a statement shared with CNN, DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley said the letter, published in an exclusive report in The Telegraph, contained “so many inaccuracies” that it could not go unchallenged.

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 the inaugural event of the LIV Golf series without proper clearances receive.

Per the DP World Tour Member Terms and Conditions Manual, players must be cleared to participate in an event scheduled to coincide with a DP World Tour event.

The tour also warned that future participation in the Saudi-backed Breakaway Series without the required clearance could result in further sanctions.

On Thursday, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, along with 14 other golfers, issued an open letter urging the DP World Tour to lift the fines and allow them to play next week’s Scottish Open until Friday July 8, according to the Telegraph.

“Rather than expend our time, energy and financial resources focusing on appeals, injunctions and lawsuits, we urge you … to reconsider your recent sentences and sanctions,” the letter reads, according to the Telegraph.

“If not, you will leave us no choice but to use the various other tools and methods at our disposal to correct these errors.”

DP World Tour’s Pelley says players were aware of the potential consequences before attending the London event.

“Before joining LIV Golf, players knew that choosing money over competition would have consequences. A lot of them understood and accepted that at the time,” Pelley said.

“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 by the actions we have taken.”

Last month, the PGA Tour announced that all golfers who played in the controversial series would be banned indefinitely from playing in Tour-sanctioned tournaments

LIV Golf is organized by LIV Golf Investments and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and the man named in a US intelligence report as responsible for the permit is called the operation that led to the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Crown Prince has denied ordering Khashoggi’s murder but said he bears responsibility. “It was a heinous crime,” he said in a 2019 interview with CBS. “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 of the LIV Golf Series kicked off Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club near Portland, Oregon.