Golf's war of words escalates as DP World Tour chief releases 553-word statement slamming LIV rebels
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Golf’s war of words escalates as DP World Tour chief releases excoriating 553-word statement slamming Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and the LIV rebels threatening legal action over sanctions, and rubbishing claims they ‘care deeply’ about his tour

DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley has issued a furious response to demands from golf’s Saudi LIV rebels that their bans be lifted.

Threatening legal action if their £100,000 fine and ban from the Scottish Open next week was not rescinded by 5pm on Friday, the deadline was met with a combative statement from Pelley making it clear that, having made their beds with LIV, the tour believe players such as Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia have to lie in them. 

Pelley was contemptuous of the rebels’ claim that they ‘care deeply’ about the DP World Tour and outraged at the idea that the new alliance announced with the PGA Tour left his organisation playing ‘second fiddle’. 

‘The letter we received on behalf of a number of LIV players contains so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged,’ he began. 

‘Before joining LIV, players knew there would be consequences. Many of them accepted that, so it is not credible that some are now surprised with the actions taken.

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has slammed a letter he received from LIV golfers

LIV rebels including Ian Poulter (right) and Lee Westwood (left) have threatened legal actioned over being banned from the Tour

LIV rebels including Ian Poulter (right) and Lee Westwood (left) have threatened legal actioned over being banned from the Tour

‘The letter claims these players “care deeply” for the DP World Tour. Past participation suggests otherwise. One played six Rolex Series events in the past five years. Another, only four.

‘I wish many of them had been as keen to play on our Tour then as they seem to be now.’

Pelley took ‘great exception’ to claims a deal with the PGA Tour is bad for Europe, arguing: ‘Nothing could be further from the truth.’

As for the legal threat, Pelley added: ‘The sanctions for members who broke our rules by playing in the first LIV event were proportionate, fair and, I believe, considered necessary by a majority of our members.’

Poulter and Westwood are among 16 LIV golfers who signed the letter sent to Keith Pelley

 Poulter and Westwood are among 16 LIV golfers who signed the letter sent to Keith Pelley

Pelley said the LIV rebels' position was 'not credible' and he took 'great exception' to the letter

Pelley said the LIV rebels’ position was ‘not credible’ and he took ‘great exception’ to the letter

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