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19th Hole

DP World Tour announces sanctions for LIV golfers…including heavy fines

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In a dramatic move by the DP World Tour, all players involved with the LIV Golf Series will be fined and banned from entering the Scottish Open in July.

With the highly-regarded tournament set to take place at the Renaissance Club for the fourth year in succession, many of the top players will have planned to use the event to prepare for The Open Championship, set to have its 150th running at St. Andrews, just a week later.

Whilst the R&A, the organisation with control of the final major, is allowing LIV players into the event, this seems to be a European version of the twists and turns in the United States, where LIV players were welcomed into the PGA Championship but shunned by the PGA Tour.

The DP World Tour will fine members that played at the opening LIV event at the Centurion Club to the tune of £100,000 and suspend all from both the Genesis Scottish Open and Barbasol Championship, held from July 7th-10th, and from the Barracuda Championship, taking place as an ‘opposite’ event to what should be a classic final major.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, has not ruled out further action, his statement confirming that participation in further conflicting tournaments without the required release “may incur further sanctions.”

The Scottish Open is an event that has often enticed many of the live candidates for The Open, and can list both Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell as previous winners, the pair now banned from the event because of their participation in the inaugural LIV event.

The 2021 running saw Collin Morikawa finish down the field before coming on from the experience to win the Claret Jug, whilst joint runner-up Matt Fitzpatrick subsequently won the Andalucia Masters and, of course, the recent US Open at Brookline.

Whilst the amount of the fine is peanuts in comparison to the millions that has been offered to the likes of Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, this will go down well with players with the same mindset as Morikawa, Max Homa and Rory McIlroy, all of whom talk of history and tradition.

Indeed, the last-named and recent Canadian Open winner has labelled some of the breakaway players as “duplicitous”, a reference to the talk of ‘loyalty’ to the PGA Tour and a quick backtrack to signing for the Saudi-backed series.

Pelley was clear in his statement made earlier today:

“Every action anyone takes in life comes with a consequence and it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members.”

“Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf that has been the bedrock of our game for the past half a century and which will also be the foundation upon which we build the next 50 years.”

Pelley concludes, “Their actions are not fair to the majority of our membership and undermine the Tour, which is why we are taking the action we have announced today.”

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Pingback: 2 big European names reportedly in talks with LIV Golf – GolfWRX

  2. Roger Goodell

    Jun 27, 2022 at 2:05 am

    Oh but the DP tour is fine playing in China and associating it self with them?? Yea like China is any better than Saudi Arabia. The PGA and DP tours are a joke. They are fooling no one, both are only about money as well. Look at how quick they got rid of life time members. Rory, Collin, JT you think the PGA tour has your back? JT remember when you said a few words and ALL you sponsors dropped you?? They are just a replaceable piece in a money machine aka the PGA Tour

  3. MICHAEL

    Jun 26, 2022 at 9:49 am

    What is the DP tour? It’s so not relevant in term of any golf that we here in America are interested in.

    • Jed

      Jun 27, 2022 at 10:45 am

      It’s the European tour. Great to watch. No one yells stupid stuff out from the crowd. There is a world out beyond the United States.

      • Jeds Unemployed Dad

        Jun 27, 2022 at 5:37 pm

        “There is a world out beyond the United States”……. so go join it, and yell stupid stuff on the internet.

      • Mike

        Jun 28, 2022 at 3:35 pm

        I know. And I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to lots of it. But like it or not, American golf is the epicenter of world golf, that’s why so many European (& other) pros move here during their playing days. So the the DP tour is pretty irrelevant in that sense.

        BTW, I detest the idiots that yell “in the hole” or “mashed potatoes” a millisecond after a shot. Unlimited alcohol sales will do that.

  4. Tom Kay

    Jun 25, 2022 at 10:42 am

    The DP Tour changed positions on the LIV Tour after a stern phone call from Monahan.

  5. Ouch

    Jun 25, 2022 at 10:05 am

    The Double Penetration Tour

    • MICHAEL

      Jun 26, 2022 at 9:50 am

      I can already see Pornhub dreaming about the movie they’re going to make about the “DP” tour!

  6. PJ

    Jun 25, 2022 at 8:25 am

    I doubt the players that left for LIV care about what the DP World Tour thinks or does. Same for the PGA.

  7. Ned

    Jun 25, 2022 at 5:58 am

    Talk about flip flopping just days ago they said the LIV players were welcome to play. Make up your mind guys. Guess the PGA out pressure on them. Funny how the PGA found 54 million to add to the payouts next year. The LIV has Ray shanking in his boots.

  8. Phuck

    Jun 24, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    Phuck Em and their tournament.

  9. Bren

    Jun 24, 2022 at 11:49 am

    The Scottish Invitational?

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19th Hole

‘What’s going on?’ – Justin Thomas left frustrated with two officials over ruling at Hero

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During Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge, Justin Thomas called for a rules official and subsequently, a second opinion, on the par-5 9th at Albany Golf Club.

The players were playing lift-clean-and-place, and Thomas’ ball came to rest about 5o yards short of the green in an area where it was difficult to identify if the ball was sitting in the fairway or the rough. The ball had gathered some mud, so if the rules official had decided that his ball was in fact in the rough, he would have to hit a pretty difficult shot given the condition on his golf ball.

“Basically, what’s going on?” Thomas asked the official.

The official told Thomas that the change of color in the grass was indicative of the change of fairway to rough, and therefore he would have to hit his ball as it lied. Thomas argued that the grass was cut to the same length in both spots, therefore the color didn’t matter.

“But you see, what I’m saying, this is also beat down from the carts, but look at how much longer this is than this,” he said before walking over to the thicker grass. “Like see, this is the same height [where his ball was and the apparent fairway.] I totally see it’s down grain and it’s a totally different color, but … the change of the length of grass is just what kind of confused me.”

After relief was denied by the official, “JT” called for a second opinion. While waiting for another official to show up, Thomas was heard saying to his caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay, ““It’s the same exact length, this is not rough.”

When the second rules official came over, he said: “I can see the cutline right here,” and pointed to the different shades of grass that the other official mentioned.

Thomas accepted the decision.

Interestingly, announcer Paul Azinger shared his opinion that the second rules official almost never will disagree with the first rules official’s ruling.

“That second opinion almost never works,” Azinger said to Dan Hicks during the broadcast.

“Really?” Hicks asked.

“Never,” Azinger said. “Very rarely will an official go against another official.”

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19th Hole

Data shows how much more difficult green become as the day progresses

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For many a golf bettor, betting on the first round leader of any tournament revolves around the early starters.

Even a cursory look at this week’s Australian Open shows the morning wave averaging 1.73 shots better than the afternoon players, resulting in 18 early starters finishing in the top-10 by the end of the day, including current leader David Micheluzzi.

However, over on the South African Open, the roles are reversed, with current leader Thirston Lawrence taking up one of 15 places on the front page of leaderboard for the late starters, who shot around half-a-shot less than the morning groups.

Naturally, there are many factors – wind, temperature, dew, grass-types and, potentially, overall quality of the groupings, but these are variables that can change from day to day.

Step in Lou Stagner, data lead of Arccos Golf and all-round numbers guru.

Stagner does not deal in emotion or factors that cannot be measured. It’s facts, figures and that’s your lot!

He will tell you that from the fairway, 80-yards from the pin, professionals simply don’t get as close as many believe:

On Wednesday, the man who once built a Lego model of Augusta #12, tweeted a table showing the variance in putts made by PGA Tour members under morning and afternoon conditions.

Taking stats over 17 years, the table shows an advantage to the early starters, not by much, but enough to consider.

There are plenty of places to take the stats, with a few respondents asking for a table on grass types through the day – Bent v Bermuda v POA – and that will probably turn up on Stanger’s twitter feed soon.

Of course, on a Sunday, later starters have the pressure of trying to win a tournament, which is why we tend to see flashy rounds from those a few off the pace on Payday, but it is enough to consider when trying to get that illusive three-figure first (or second) round leader.

Either way, two-time major champion, and regular tweeter Justin Thomas, decided this was his chance to get in an early excuse when he’s off late in the day.

Make of what you will. Perhaps the stats will one day include how many of these are for par saves against birdie putts, or is that too much?

Either way, Stagner continues to bombard us with stats that delight and entertain, and that can be no bad thing. Unless you are a buddy of Lou’s…

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19th Hole

Cam Smith fumes at ‘pretty s****y’ opening round at Australian Open

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After an incredible week at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Cameron Smith is off to a rough start at the Australian Open. The Champion Golfer of the Year struggled to hit fairways all day long and finished his round at +1 which is eight shots back of first-round leader David Micheluzzi (-7).

Smith, who received a massive ovation from the crowd, was extremely displeased, calling his play “pretty shitty” as he went from his post-round press conference to the practice range. The 29-year-old also said it was “as bad as I’ve played in a long time”.

“I don’t think it was a mixed bag, I think it was all rubbish to be honest,”

“Maybe some delayed tiredness, maybe. I did feel a little bit foggy out there at times, but it’s not really an excuse, it’s my job to do all that stuff.”

Despite the uninspiring round, the world number three still feels as if he can get back into the event and contend.

“It’s not like I don’t know how to play golf, it was just a bit of a bad day.”

“I’ve just got a few things to clean up, I think. Like I said last week [at the Australian PGA Championship], I felt as though the golf got better every day.”

The Aussie is incredible at recovery shots and finding his way out of trouble. But if he wants to be the first player to win the Australian PGA and Australian Open in the same season since 2011, he needs to start putting the ball in the fairway.

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