Garcia, Westwood and fellow LIV rebels 'INELIGIBLE for the Ryder Cup'

Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and fellow rebels who left the World Tour ‘are still INELIGIBLE for the Ryder Cup’ despite PGA and LIV merger

  • The PGA and LIV announced shocking plans to merge on Tuesday morning
  • But players in the Saudi-backed league are not yet in the clear in the sport
  • provides all the latest international sports news

Despite the bombshell merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, nine golfers who resigned their DP World Tour memberships to join the Saudi-backed league will remain ineligible for the Ryder Cup later this year.

On Tuesday, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and rival LIV stunningly ended their bitter two-year dispute and announced an agreement to merge and form one unified commercial entity.

However, the process for LIV defectors to be reinstated won’t begin until after the 2023 season is complete, meaning high-profile names such as Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter will have to wait to return to the Ryder Cup.

‘There have been several suggestions that with the joint commitment to end further litigation between the parties, this also means our sanctions against players who broke our Regulations will be waived,’ DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley wrote in a memo to players obtained by ESPN on Wednesday. 

DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley said in a memo obtained by ESPN that players who resigned their World Tour memberships to join LIV will be ineligible for this year’s Ryder Cup

That list includes Sergio Garcia, one of nine golfers who gave up the DP World Tour status

‘That is not the case. The suspensions and fines previously imposed remain effective.’

A ruling by the Sport Resolutions panel in April found that the World Tour was within its rights to ban players such as Garcia, Westwood and Poulter from the Ryder Cup for participating in the Saudi-funded league.

Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Richard Bland, Martin Kaymer, Dean Burmester and Abraham Ancer also resigned from the DP World Tour and will therefore remain ineligible for this year’s Ryder Cup.

The tournament is scheduled for September 29 to October 1 at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club outside Rome.

According to the memo Pelley wrote, players who resigned and wanted reinstatement needed to notify the DP World Tour by May 1, but none of them did so.

While the merger ends the ongoing litigation between the PGA and LIV, that doesn’t mean that tensions will be over in the sport.

Lee Westwood (L) and Ian Poulter were also among those to resign World Tour memberships


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Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and fellow rebels who left the World Tour ‘are still INELIGIBLE for the Ryder Cup’ despite PGA and LIV merger

For one, players like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama turned down eye-watering sums from LIV Golf to remain loyal to the PGA Tour only to see the Tours merge.

Those players, and others, will be forced to grapple with defectors like Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau eventually being reinstated.

Additionally, PGA commissioner Jay Monahan said less than a year ago that a possible merger with LIV was ‘off the table.’

So PGA members were unsurprisingly stunned to learn about the news – which they first saw on Twitter.

‘Shocked and confused,’ one unidentified golfer told Barstool’s Dan Rapaport.

‘Disgusted,’ another said. ‘They didn’t tell us anything.’

Victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack also ripped the PGA’s decision to merge with LIV Golf, while calling out Saudi Arabia’s role in the tragedy.

One group, 9/11 Families United, released a statement condemning the merger, saying its members are ‘shocked and deeply offended.’

‘PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan co-opted the 9/11 community last year in the PGA’s unequivocal agreement that the Saudi LIV project was nothing more than sportswashing of Saudi Arabia’s reputation,’ said chairman Terry Strada, whose husband died in the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

In 2022, while sympathizing with 9/11 families, Monahan seemed to be staunchly against any merger with LIV Golf.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wrote a memo to players on Tuesday (pictured)

‘I think you’d have to be living under a rock to not know there are significant implications and as it relates to the families of 9/11—I have two families that are close to me that lost loved ones,’ Moynahan told CBS in 2022.

The 9/11 attacks were carried out by 19 terrorists, including 15 Saudi nationals. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was also born in Saudi Arabia.

LIV Golf has been slammed for its ties to Saudi Arabia’s controversial Public Investment Fund (PIF), with critics accusing the kingdom of ‘sportswashing’ its human rights record. LIV defectors, meanwhile, have been pilloried over allegations of greed.

LIV Golf is heavily funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund, which has committed at least $2billion to the circuit.

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