DP World Tour Talks ‘A Future As Tough To Read As Augusta National’

Lee Westwood plays in Abu Dhabi
Lee Westwood, a 25-time DP World Tour winner, is taking part in within the Center East earlier than LIV occasions resume in late February.

Making an attempt to check the way forward for skilled golf is about as exhausting as studying a slippery pitch with a number of breaks of Augusta Nationwide greens at lightning velocity.

DP World chiefs stroll with considered patronage; They do not wish to get the ball rolling the improper manner. Decisive authorized motion towards gamers from the dissident LIV golf league looms within the close to future.

So sitting for an hour with European Tour CEO Keith Bailey, forward of this week’s Hero Dubai Desert Traditional present, raises extra questions than solutions.

However now we have discovered that he and his PGA Tour counterpart Jay Monahan have stepped again from the thorny discussions that may decide whether or not LIV gamers will earn world rating factors.

We heard the tour employees had been upset about feedback made by Lee Westwood, the LIV recruiter in Abu Dhabi final week the place he questioned the present energy of the DP World circuit.

It was additionally made clear that the judging session in London, which can happen from 6-10 February, would require a substantial amount of expense and a spotlight from the hierarchy of the tour.

“I feel this is a crucial second for our tour and to guard our tour and our members in any respect ranges,” Bailey informed reporters gathered on the Emirates Golf Membership.

The tour engaged the providers of three outdoors regulation companies to assist them battle 13 LIV gamers who had been interesting towards penalties imposed to problem waivers being denied to permit them to play LIV occasions.

First Ian Poulter, Adrian Otagui and Justin Harding appealed the £100,000 fantastic and bans from the Scottish Open. Penalties had been suspended they usually had been in a position to play all through the method.

The variety of appellants then rose to 16, however Sergio Garcia, Charles Schwartzl and Branden Grace have now withdrawn from the case, which shall be heard behind closed doorways by Sports activities Resolutions UK.

The panel, made up of two army fee chairmen and former Supreme Courtroom justice Philip Sycamore, will determine the end result. However that won’t be identified till a number of weeks after the listening to.

“It is some huge cash and it is time and sources, however it’s what it’s,” stated Bailey, who refused to be drawn into the fallout from his tour in the event that they misplaced the case.

“We had discussions at a really excessive degree however on the similar time it was not our fundamental focus,” he stated. “Once you defend the claims towards 13 gamers and convey witness statements and do all that, you give attention to that.”

Bailey admitted that below authorized recommendation, he and fellow senior Keith Waters, together with PGA Tour commissioner Monahan, had eliminated themselves from international discussions about whether or not the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Tour needs to be acknowledged.

“I’ve not seen or regarded on the LIV app nor have I given my opinions on the app,” he stated. “It’s within the arms of the technical committee.

“Jay Monahan, Keith Waters and I’ve left ourselves on the separate panel. The 4 majors will decide the LIV software.

“We’re not concerned in it, we do not focus on it, and it has no bearing on what occurs with OWGR so far as LIV goes.”

“We did it as a result of our authorized advisors steered it,” Bailey added. LIV president Greg Norman known as for the scheduled rounds to be stripped of any affect on the choice.

Within the build-up to final week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship – which was brilliantly received by French Ryder Cup favourite Victor Perez – Westwood commented on the obvious weak spot on the fields on this massive week within the Center East.

“Two $9 million occasions, back-to-back, an hour’s drive away, in near-perfect circumstances,” stated the veteran Englishman. “When you’re not going to get robust fields, like half a dozen of the world’s high 20, you are by no means going to get them, proper?”

Bailey stated the feedback damage his workers. “Final evening we had a operate operate and it was wonderful how many individuals got here as much as me and stated they had been disillusioned with the feedback,” he stated.

“And it was unfair to the employees and I discovered that basically attention-grabbing. I did not fairly understand how upset the employees was.”

“I feel the feedback that had been made had been outdoors the realm of info. Commenting on the highest 20 by way of the place the tour happened, you all know it is by no means been more true and it is by no means been stronger.”

The tour boss has additionally raised eyebrows that he’s to date unaware of any LIV participant expressing any detrimental sentiment concerning the profitable $405m (£328m) circuit over 14 tournaments this 12 months.

“Some folks have stated to me during the last couple of months, ‘It is wonderful that not one of the rivals on the brand new Tour stated something about their Tour,'” Bailey stated.

“It is actually inconceivable for them to not have opinions and for the whole lot to be fantastic the primary 12 months. I discover it ridiculous.”

The tour says it isn’t trying to grant life bans to gamers it deems to be rebellious for defying waivers to play LIV occasions. However it isn’t clear what the penalties shall be if the listening to goes in favor of the spherical.

LIV gamers insist they’ve the fitting to play wherever they like and that the European Tour did not stand of their manner after they wished to play within the US. “What’s the distinction?” They argue.

Within the meantime, they’ll proceed to compete on the DP World Tour, and this week sponsors welcomed Dubai to play at Almoayyed. Previously week the likes of Westwood, Poulter and Henrik Stenson have been neglected.

This inconsistency is the way in which issues are for the time being. Will they be eligible for Ryder Cup choice? who are you aware However the tour insists that no matter of Luke Donald’s six wildcard selections will solely belong to the captain.

No less than by then there needs to be extra readability.

In actual fact, golf followers ought to hope that comes sooner slightly than later, so we are able to give attention to the motion itself — like these diabolically exhausting putts that may outline the Masters in April.

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