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European legends call time on Ryder Cup careers

They are four of the DP World Tour's longest stalwarts - with appearances and titles aplenty - but Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Richard Bland ended their relationship with the European circuit
 

LIV Golf rebels Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Richard Bland and Lee Westwood have quit the DP World Tour.

In a statement, the Tour said it had received “membership resignations” from the quartet, who were “sanctioned for serious breaches of the Tour’s Conflicting Tournament Regulation committed last June”.

The DP World Tour said it thanked the players for the contribution they had made to the European scene and the continent’s successful Ryder Cup team, but added: “Their resignations, however, along with the sanctions imposed upon them, are a consequence of their own choices.”

It brings to an end any hope they may compete in, or be a part of, September’s Ryder Cup match in Rome and pulls down the curtain on the prospect of Garcia, Westwood, or Poulter captaining Europe in the future.

Garcia is the record Ryder Cup points scorer and remains the youngest player ever to have featured in the biennial competition.

ian poulter

Poulter is the hero of the Miracle at Medinah in 2012, while Westwood is tied with Sir Nick Faldo for the most European Ryder Cup appearances with 11.

Last June, the DP World Tour fined and suspended those who had made the switch to the Saudi golf tour from playing in the Scottish Open only for those punishments to be appealed and stayed.

But Sports Resolutions ruled in favour of the Tour in April following an arbitration hearing and the writing has been on the wall for those players who have moved over to LIV Golf ever since.

The DP World Tour statement added: “As we have consistently maintained throughout the past year, the Tour has a responsibility to its entire membership to administer the member regulations which each player signs up to. These regulations are in place to protect the collective interests of all DP World Tour members.

“The independent panel appointed by Sport Resolutions recognised this, determining that our Conflicting Tournament Regulation and its application in the circumstances did not go beyond what was necessary and proportionate to the Tour’s continued operation as a professional golf tour and that we have a legitimate interest in protecting the rights of our full membership by enforcing it.”

The Tour said they would provide a further update on “other sanctioned members” on Thursday.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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