Rather than be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Richard Bland — all with LIV Golf — resigned from the European tour on Wednesday.
The four golfers resigned from their DP World Tour memberships, after being sanctioned for playing events for the Saudi-backed venture without permission.
Westwood, Poulter, Garcia and Bland all played in the inaugural LIV Golf event last June, which according to the European tour, violated the conflicting tournament regulation policy.
They all recently lost a legal case, in which several players — including the LIV golfers mentioned above — committed breaches of the European tour’s code of behavior. Because of the ruling, the tour fined each golfer 100,000 pounds ($125,000). Obviously, they chose not to pay the fine and have since renounced their membership, which will make them ineligible for the Ryder Cup going forward.
In a statement, the European tour thanked the LIV Golfers for their contributions, while also highlighting Westwood, Poulter and Garcia for what they were able to accomplish on behalf of Europe in the Ryder Cup. The DP World Tour also wanted to make it inherently clear that each of the four members of the Saudi-back tour brought this upon themselves.
The DP World Tour would like to take this opportunity to thank the four players for the contribution they have made to the Tour and in particular to Sergio, Ian and Lee for the significant part they have played in Europe’s success in the Ryder Cup over many years.
Their resignations, however, along with the sanctions imposed upon them, are a consequence of their own choices.
As we have consistently maintained throughout the past year, the Tour has a responsibility to its entire membership to administer the member regulations which each player signs up to. These regulations are in place to protect the collective interests of all DP World Tour members.
The Tour announced that an update on other sanctioned members will be provided on Thursday.