DP World Tour chief says LIV series could “significantly hurt” circuit

Keith Pelley

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has warned players they will jeopardise the future of the circuit if they sign up to the controversial LIV Invitational Series.

According to James Corrigan in the Telegraph, Pelley emailed tour stars earlier this week insisting the Saudi-backed venture has the potential to “significantly hurt” the established circuit.

He pointed out several of the series’ events clash with the Irish, Spanish and Italian Opens – tournaments he described as “heritage events” and some of the biggest on the DP World Tour calendar.

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“Conflicting events, regardless of how attractive they might appear to you personally, potentially compromise our efforts in these areas and could significantly hurt your Tour in both the short and long term,” Pelley wrote.

“Please, therefore, continue to bear this bigger picture in mind, particularly considering some of these conflicting events in 2022 are scheduled directly opposite some of our most prestigious ‘heritage events’, including the Horizon Irish Open, the DS Automobiles Italian Open and the Acciona Open de España – three national Opens which combined have more than 300 years of history.”

Players have until Monday to request permission to play in the first LIV event at the Centurion Club outside London in June.

Although those signing up have previously been threatened with lifetime bans from both the DP World Tour and PGA Tour, as well as the Ryder Cup, the circuit’s stance seems to have softened slightly.

Instead, Pelley said executives will “review each request received on a case-by-case basis” - but asked golfers to look at the “wider context”.

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So far, PGA Tour journeyman Robert Garrigus is the only player to have been named as having applied for permission to play at the Centurion event, which will become the richest in golf with a purse of $25 million.

However, LIV Golf Investments chief Greg Norman insisted “marquee names” would be announced ahead of the event.

Players such as Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Bubba Watson are believed to be among those being targeted.

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