According to reports, The DP World Tour has prevailed in its legal battle with LIV Golf players, meaning that they can now impose financial penalties, making it likely that the defectors will rescind their memberships in order to avoid the risk of heavy fines being imposed.
The ruling, as first reported by The Times, follows the Sports Resolutions arbitration hearing back in February, and means that the DP World Tour can fine the players £100,000 per event played without a release being granted, including for the inaugural LIV London event at the Centurion club last June.
Reports suggest that the arbitration panel’s decision could be announced as early as Thursday afternoon, which would coincide the the start of play of The Masters at Augusta National, where 18 LIV players are among those who will tee it up at the year’s first major.
With LIV scheduled to have 14 events this season, and the same expected for next year, fines could reach as much as £1.4 million annually for any players intending to stand firm and retain DP World Tour membership.
The Times report states that the ruling could lead to LIV players like Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia having to give up their DP World Tour memberships. By doing that, they would avoid the threat of sanctions and suspensions in the future but as a consequence would instantly become ineligible for future Ryder Cups as players or future captaincy.
According to the report, the arbitration panel’s decision is set to be announced as early as Thursday afternoon during the first round of The Masters.
With DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley along with other senior tour officials all present at Augusta National, Thursday could be an explosive day of action both on and off the course at Augusta.
More on this story as it develops…..
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