When it comes to permanently banning LIV players, DPWT CEO has softer response
VIRGINIA WATER, England – PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan left no room for ambiguity when he was asked at last month’s Tour Championship if the circuit would welcome back any player who had joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
“No,” Monahan said. “They’ve joined the LIV Golf series and they’ve made that commitment. For most of them, they’ve made multiyear commitments … every player has a choice, and I respect their choice, but they’ve made it. We’ve made ours.”
On Wednesday at the DP World Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, European circuit CEO Keith Pelley was asked the same question and offered a decidedly softer response.
“If that does happen, I would have a conversation with the individual,” Pelley said.
The PGA Tour suspended any player who violated the circuit’s policy and played in a LIV Golf event, but a British arbiter stayed any suspensions or fines on the European tour until a formal legal hearing in February. As a result, 18 LIV players, including Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, are in this week’s field at Wentworth.
Pelley was also asked what he would say to a LIV player if he were to win this week’s event at Wentworth.
“I would go up and I would shake his hand and I would say, ‘You have beaten 143 players in a 72-hole tournament, which we believe is a true testament to the game of golf that has been built and that John Jacobs built since 1972,’” Pelley said.
LIV Golf features 54-hole events with 48-man fields.