LIV rebels set for legal case on DP World Tour status

The latest battle in golf’s civil war will take place off the course this week as an arbitration panel meets in London to decide whether the LIV Golf rebels are able to continue playing on the DP World Tour.

A total of 13 players are seeking clarity on their ability to participate in future events.

The case arose when players requested releases from the DP World Tour in order to play the inaugural LIV Golf event in Hemel Hempstead last June.

Those requests were denied but the players competed in LIV’s lift-off event regardless.

The DP World Tour retaliated with £100,000 ($121,000) fines and bans from the Scottish Open.

But an appeal from Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding saw the punishments suspended pending a substantive appeal.

That allowed LIV players to continue playing on the DP World Tour, with Otaegui winning the Andalucia Masters in October.

They have since been joined by Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield, Richard Bland, Shaun Norris, Laurie Canter, Wade Ormsby, Patrick Reed, Bernd Wiesberger, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer.

The number of appellants had grown to 16, but Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace have since withdrawn from the case.

The case is separate to the anti-trust lawsuit between LIV and the PGA Tour in the United States.

“The hearing centres solely on our conflicting event release regulation and our ability to enforce it,” said the DP World Tour’s director of communications Scott Crockett.

The LIV players argue that releases have previously been granted to play on the PGA Tour, with whom the DP World Tour have a strategic alliance.

Henrik Stenson, who lost the Ryder Cup captaincy after joining LIV, said: “There are multiple tours in the world. As long as you fulfil your (membership) criteria and earn your right to be there, you should be able to play in as many tournaments as you like.”

© Agence France-Presse

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