In a memo to players on the DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour), Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour Group, has issued a strong warning against defection to the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series, reports the GolfChannel. The memo was about the “release protocols” as some players want to attend the tournaments initiated by Greg Norman and financed by Saudi Arabian money.
European Tour: Urgent appeal from the boss
Conflicting events, regardless of how attractive they might appear to you personally, potentially compromise our efforts in these areas and could significantly hurt your tour in both the short and long term,” Pelley wrote. “Please continue to bear this bigger picture in mind.” In addition, Pelley explained that some of the tournaments in the LIV Golf Invitational Series would be held at the same time as heritage events, including the Irish Open, Italian Open and Open de Espana.
In his memo, Keith Pelley also refuted rumours that they had turned down a multi-million dollar Golf Saudi investment. “Although we had discussions with Golf Saudi about extending our relationship beyond the Saudi International tournament, we never received a formal written offer from them,” GolfChannel quoted from the memo. However, the European Tour (now DP World Tour) had received an offer from Raine Capital in 2020, who were linked to a Premier League Golf at the time.
LIV Golf Invitational Series by Greg Norman
The LIV Golf Invitational Series is now being funded by the Saudi Arabian Private Investment Fund (PIF) and is tempting with huge prize money. Earlier this week, it was announced that a first professional from the PGA Tour and further professionals from the DP World Tour have asked for permission to participate in the inaugural event (09-11 June in London) of the tournament series launched by Greg Norman.
Now the head of the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) warned his players against a defection and appealed for loyalty to the tour. The PGA Tour had also threatened to exclude its players from the Majors and Ryder Cup when the rumours of a new Saudi League first emerged and urged its stars to stay on the PGA Tour with pledges of loyalty and new sources of income, such as the Players Impact Program.