European golf chief Keith Pelley says he is “disappointed” after attempts to ban players who have joined the rival LIV Golf series from this week’s Scottish Open were thwarted.
English Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter, who is among the stars to have signed up to the new big-money, Saudi-backed circuit, and 15 other players won their appeal against the ban at an independent hearing yesterday.
“I will simply say we are disappointed by the outcome but will abide by the decision,” said Pelley, chief executive of the DP World Tour.
“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 players were also fined £100,000 each for joining the LIV Golf series after being warned that doing so would breach the rules of the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour.
Organisers of the PGA Tour, the US-based leading circuit for men’s professionals, have banned indefinitely any players to play in LIV Golf events.
The Scottish Open is a key event for players to prepare for the Open Championship, the 150th edition of which takes place at St Andrew’s next week.
The second LIV Golf event took place last week in Portland, where South African Branden Grace scooped the $4m first prize.
The Scottish Open is now co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour, a move that has brought it greater prominence, stronger fields and more sponsorship.
Poulter has previously said he felt “disappointed and offended that I’ve been suspended from playing golf on a Tour that I’ve played for 24 years”.
He added: “We didn’t know what the consequences of playing for LIV would be. We knew there would be some form of action, but it was never spelled out to us, and I feel the action they have taken is too severe.”
The Scottish Open begins at the Renaissance Club in East Lothian on Thursday.