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The DP World Tour has made a landmark decision by awarding the first LIV golfer full membership on the circuit for the 2024 season.
Last year, the European circuit won an arbitration case allowing them to sanction LIV players with fines and suspensions for competing in conflicting events on the Saudi-backed breakaway league.
Stalwarts including Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson all resigned their membership from the tour, and the future for LIV players hoping to return to their old domains has since looked bleak.
However, in an intruiging move, the tour has now accepted Bernd Wiesberger’s application to play a full schedule in the 2024 campaign, because the Austrian had never actually resigned his membership when joining LIV and has since fulfilled all his sanctions.
And in a new report in the Telegraph, it has emerged that Wiesberger’s fines, totalling up to £1.5million, were paid in full by LIV bosses under an obligation that was made when he first signed last year.
Wiesberger had amassed the biggest financial penalty in golf history after playing 22 conflicting LIV events over a two-year period whilst being a member on his old tour.
He finished 41st in the individual standings this season representing the Cleeks GC team captained by Martin Kaymer, and was left in a state of flux after his contract was not renewed.
But he has now been granted his playing rights on his old tour in 2024 after his requested reinstatement was accepted by DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
Wiesberger released an update on his return on social media. “I am happy to announce that my focus for next year will be entirely on the DP World Tour,” he confirmed.
“I have never resigned my membership and therefore I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to play a full schedule once again.
“Included in that will be traditional National Championships that are such a big part of the Tour where I have enjoyed some success in the past.”
A DP World Tour statement gave a full explanation for Wiesberger’s return.”Bernd Wiesberger’s application for membership for the 2024 season has been accepted by the DP World Tour,” it read.
“Wiesberger’s membership ceased, and he was removed from the Race to Dubai, after he failed to comply with the Tour’s minimum counting event regulation for the 2023 season, having played in only two counting tournaments – the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.
“He subsequently expressed his desire to play a full DP World Tour schedule in 2024 and has fulfilled all sanctions – both financial and tournament suspensions – that were imposed upon him for breaches of the Tour’s conflicting event regulation across 2022 and 2023.
“Consequently, his request for reinstatement has been granted by DP World Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley, in accordance with the procedure set out in the Members’ Regulations.”
Wiesberger will play on a Category 11 exemption, which is made up of players in the top 40 on the career money list.
He is now also able to qualify for the Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black in 2025 after making his Team Europe debut at Whistling Straits in 2021.
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