04 July 2022

Ian Poulter among three LIV Golf Series players to get Scottish Open reprieve

04 July 2022

Three players have been added to the field for this week’s Genesis Scottish Open after their suspensions for playing in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event were temporarily stayed on appeal.

DP World Tour members who played in the Saudi-backed rebel circuit without permission were banned from the Scottish Open, plus two other events co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour, and hit with individual fines of £100,000.

However, following a hearing before Sport Resolutions (UK) on Monday, the suspensions imposed on Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding were temporarily stayed, pending determination of their substantive appeals.

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “Out of respect for JP and Noreen McManus, their wonderful Pro-Am and the outstanding fundraising they undertake on behalf of charities in the west of Ireland, I will not be giving a detailed response on this matter right now.

“I will simply say we are disappointed by the outcome of today’s hearing, but will abide by the decision. 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.

“The make-up of the field for the Genesis Scottish Open will be advised in due course, but based on this decision the field size will increase beyond 156.

“We will make further comment on this in due course, but not during our time at Adare Manor.”

Speaking before the decision was announced, Poulter told BBC Sport: “I feel disappointed, I feel offended that obviously I’m suspended from playing golf on a tour where I’ve been a member for 24 years, but I’ve been told I can’t, so it’s disappointing.

“I’ve put it in as an individual because I want to play so whether people want to come in on the back end of that is up to them, but my correspondence is obviously fighting for my rights to play golf.”

Poulter was commenting after competing in a star-studded pro-am event in Ireland that brought together players on both sides of the controversy currently dividing the sport.

Thousands thronged the fairways of the 2027 Ryder Cup venue Adare Manor as the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm competed with marquee LIV signings such as Poulter, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Lee Westwood at the charity fundraising JP McManus Pro-Am.

Another participant was former Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, who insisted there is room for the LIV tour to coexist with the traditional circuits.

Harrington also played down suggestions of a serious rift between the LIV rebels and the players who have chosen to remain affiliated with the PGA and DP World tours.

“Being here is a little bit like Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving for your family,” said the Dubliner.

“You know, you could have a sibling sitting there and you could be – we’ll Americanise it – you could be a Republican, they could be a Democrat, but you’re all friends at that particular time and maybe politics isn’t mentioned over the dinner table.

“On an individual basis, this is not a difficult situation here this week. We’re all friends.”

Harrington, fresh from his triumph at the US Senior Open, said he would not like to see European veterans who have signed up for the LIV series be denied a chance to be Ryder Cup captain.

He made clear he did not anticipate filling the role again.

“I think there’s plenty of people who’ve got a future of being Ryder Cup captain and I think everybody should be given that chance,” said the 50-year-old multiple major winner.

“I had my chance. As much as I love the experience of being Ryder Cup captain and I really did, you know it was a tough call and I don’t see myself going back into that arena again.”

Amid the continuing acrimony over the LIV series, Harrington expressed hope that golf’s landscape would eventually settle down.

“I believe there’s room in golf for lots of tours and lots of competition,” he said.

He added: “The more the merrier if you ask me, everybody will find their place and in three or four years, five years’ time, you know, things will have settled down and we’ll all know where we stand.

“At the moment there is disruption, there’s no doubt about it. But disruption is not bad at times.”

Woods’ participation at the 36-hole event in Ireland will further raise hopes that he will be fit enough to compete in the Open at St Andrews later this month.

The 15-time major winner continues to struggle with pain in his right leg following the severe injuries he sustained in a car accident in Los Angeles in February last year.

He withdrew from the USPGA Championship after three rounds in May and did not participate in last month’s US Open, but he has signalled his intent to tee it up in Scotland for the final major of the year.

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