Garcia, Poulter, Bland and Westwood resign their DP World Tour memberships

The DP World Tour has confirmed it has received membership resignations from Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Richard Bland and Lee Westwood – who were sanctioned for serious breaches of the tour’s Conflicting Tournament Regulation last June.

The resignations follow a decision by the arbitration service Sport Resolutions to uphold the DP World Tour’s sanctions of players – including a £100,000 fine and two-week suspension after they played in LIV’s first tournament at the Centurion Club.

A tour statement said: “The DP World Tour would like to take this opportunity to thank the four players for the contribution they have made to the tour and in particular to Sergio, Ian and Lee for the significant part they have played in Europe’s success in the Ryder Cup over many years. Their resignations, however, along with the sanctions imposed upon them, are a consequence of their own choices.

“As we have consistently maintained throughout the past year, the tour has a responsibility to its entire membership to administer the member regulations which each player signs up to. These regulations are in place to protect the collective interests of all DP World Tour members.

“The independent panel appointed by Sport Resolutions recognised this, determining that our Conflicting Tournament Regulation and its application in the circumstances did not go beyond what was necessary and proportionate to the tour’s continued operation as a professional golf tour and that we have a legitimate interest in protecting the rights of our full membership by enforcing it.”

All four will now be unable to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup as players or captains.

Lee, a member of the tour for more than 30 years, told the Daily Telegraph: “I could not see any other option with all the punishments hanging over me. I don’t agree with the direction [chief executive] Keith [Pelley] and his board have taken and I want to move on.”

Following the initial statement, the DP World Tour announced that 16 of the 17 sanctioned players have paid their fines, with Sergio Garcia the only playing failing to do so.

The players were each fined £100,000 – a sanction originally imposed in July 2022 and upheld last month by an independent panel appointed by Sport Resolutions.

The 16 players are: Richard Bland, Laurie Canter, Branden Grace, Justin Harding, Sam Horsfield, Martin Kaymer, Pablo Larrazabal, Graeme McDowell, Shaun Norris, Wade Ormsby, Adrian Otaegui, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood and Bernd Wiesberger.

The tour’s statement said: “Sergio has not paid his £100,000 fine, nor has he given any indication that he intends to. We will therefore take appropriate action if he continues not to respect the Sport Resolutions panel’s decision. As confirmed yesterday, Garcia announced his resignation from the DP World Tour alongside Richard Bland, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. Details of further sanctions for players who breached the Conflicting Tournament Regulation by playing in subsequent conflicting events without a release, will be announced next week.”