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DP World Tour strike crucial blow in LIV Golf legal battle

The DP World Tour will now be able to fine players who play in conflicting events without releases, which could see the circuit's stalwarts give up their memberships
 

The DP World Tour has won a hugely significant legal battle against LIV Golf players and has secured the right to impose fines on defectors.

The Tour has now confirmed fines of $100,000 will be imposed on those who participated in conflicting events without release permission. They have 30 days to pay them.

This ruling came from the Sports Resolutions arbitration hearing that took place in front of a three-person panel chaired by Judge Phillip Sycamore CBE from February 6-10.

In summary, the panel found that DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley “acted entirely reasonably in refusing releases” and the relevant regulations are “lawful and enforceable”.

The sanctioned members “committed serious breaches of the Code of Behaviour of the DP World Tour Regulations by playing in (LIV Golf events) despite their release requests having been refused”.

This ruling could mean the likes of Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, who joined LIV Golf last summer, could give up their DP World Tour memberships to avoid future sanctions or suspensions.

dp world tour

Sixteen players from the DP World Tour played in the first event of Greg Norman’s tour held at Centurion Golf Club in June 2022.

The circuit formerly known as the European Tour initially announced fines and suspensions for LIV defectors last June, but Poulter, Justin Harding, and Adrian Otaegui still played at the Genesis Scottish Open due to appeals.

“We welcome today’s decision by Sport Resolutions which upholds our regulations and our ability to administer them,” Pelly said in an official statement.

“We are delighted that the panel recognised we have a responsibility to our full membership to do this and also determined that the process we followed was fair and proportionate.

“In deciding the level of these sanctions last June, we were simply administering the regulations which were created by our members and which each of them signed up to.

“It is, of course, regrettable that resources, both financial and staffing, which could have been otherwise deployed across our organisation, have been impacted by this lengthy arbitration process.

“However, with the clarity provided by today’s decision, we look forward to continuing to focus on our 2023 global schedule, whilst also continuing to plan for 2024 with the valued support of our many partners and stakeholders.

“We will now carefully consider the details of today’s decision with our Board, our Tournament Committee, and our legal advisors and take the appropriate action in due course.”

The verdict could provide European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald with more clarity on who can and can’t be included in his team for September, depending on the players’ DP World Tour membership status.

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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