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A verdict in the dispute between LIV golfers and the DP World Tour is expected to take much longer than initially expected.

It was thought that an arbitration panel would rule on the matter within two to three weeks of the hearing, which took place in London from February 6-10.

However, according to a report in the Daily Mail, the latest “working estimate” for a verdict is between two to four months.

That means we could be waiting until at least The Masters and, potentially, mid-June for a decision – news which is bound to dismay Luke Donald.

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The European Ryder Cup captain admitted in January that he was hoping the hearing would provide “some clarity” on whether or not LIV players would be banned from playing in the biennial match, leaving him free to prepare for this year’s contest in Rome.

The more drawn-out the process, the tougher the Englishman’s job becomes.

Early in February, a three-member panel heard five days of arguments from lawyers representing a group of 13 LIV golfers and those representing the DP World Tour.

At the heart of the dispute is the tour’s right to impose sanctions on those players for competing in the LIV Golf League without a “conflicting event” release.

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Should the LIV appellants win their case, they will be able to continue playing on the DP World Tour and, potentially, qualify for the European Ryder Cup team.

If the verdict goes in favour of the DP World Tour, the circuit will be in a position to impose sanctions, such as fines and suspensions.

The 13 players challenging the tour are Ian Poulter, Justin Harding, Adrian Otageui Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield and Richard Bland, as well as Shaun Norris, Laurie Canter, Wade Ormsby, Patrick Reed, Bernd Wiesberger, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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