Litigation over the controversial LIV Golf league has officially begun — and the defectors have scored their first victory.
According to a release from the DP World Tour, the suspensions of Ian Poulter, Justin Harding and Adrian Otaegui have been temporarily stayed as their case works its way through the appeals process in U.K. courts. The trio of players were among those suspended and fined by the DP World Tour last month after they competed in the LIV Golf Invitational in London without a conflicting event release form. They will now be eligible to compete in this week’s Scottish Open.
DP World Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley, who is at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland this week, declined to give a detailed response on the matter while at Adare Manor, but he did say he was “disappointed by the outcome of [the] hearing.”
“It is important to remember, however, this is only a stay of the sanctions imposed, pending the hearing of the players’ appeal as to whether those sanctions were appropriate,” he added.
Pelley had previously announced suspensions from the Scottish Open (along with two other events the DP World Tour co-sanctions with the PGA Tour) for those who competed in LIV Golf events. He then issued a harsh response to those who threatened legal action.
Poulter, who is competing at the same pro-am, told the BBC earlier this week he was disappointed in Pelley’s decision and said he intended to “[fight] for his rights to play golf.”
“I feel disappointed, and offended that I’ve been suspended from playing golf on a Tour that I’ve played for 24 years,” Poulter said.
The DP World Tour will announce changes to the Scottish Open field later in the week, but the field size will now exceed the typical 156 players.
“We will make further comment on this in due course,” Pelley said. “But not during our time at Adare Manor.”