Three of Europe's biggest names have resigned from the DP World Tour which means that any chance of them playing or captaining the Ryder Cup team now appears to have disappeared. Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia have now parted company with the tour, as revealed in an interview in The Telegraph with Westwood.
For the record Richard Bland has also done the same with all four LIV Golf players being thanked for their efforts in a statement from the Tour.
“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 committed last June.
"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.”
In a second statement from the Tour it revealed that 16 of the 17 players who were fined £100,000 had paid up with Garcia the only one not to. Reportedly there will be further sanctions for those who continued to play in LIV events.
"I could not really see any other option with all the punishments hanging over me. I don’t agree with the direction Keith [DP World Tour CEO Pelley] and his board have taken and I want to move on,” Westwood told The Telegraph.
After the DP World Tour won the recent court case Westwood added that it wasn't an easy decision to call it quits but with more fines on the cards he decided that enough was enough.
“I’ve had amazing times, including all those Ryder Cups,” Westwood added. “I wouldn’t change those years for the world and feel I made a contribution to the tour. I never would have believed it had ended like this and there has to be a bit of sadness, of course.
“At my age, sure it was maybe easier to choose to resign. But this wasn’t a straightforward decision and not one I have taken lightly at all. I mulled it over and just didn’t like the thought of the tour continuously hitting us with more fines and bans that would have been hanging over me. I’ve paid my fine out of respect for the arbitration panel and have then taken the decisions out of the tour’s hands. I honestly want to move on.”
Westwood represented Europe a record 11 times, Garcia is the all-time record points scorer while Poulter has been the heartbeat of the side with his particular highlight coming at Medinah in 2012.
The Englishman added that he believes that there is a case of double standards with Saudi Arabia being part of the DP World Tour in recent years.
“I’ve been a dual member of the European Tour and PGA Tour, but always said I was a European Tour member first and foremost and that I had fears about the US circuit basically being bullies and doing everything it could to secure global dominance. But now, in my opinion, the European Tour has jumped fully in bed with the PGA Tour and even though Keith (Pelley) says he hates to hear it, it is now a feeder tour for the PGA Tour.
"The top 10 players on the tour, not already exempt this year, have a pathway to the PGA Tour – that’s giving our talent away. That was never the tour’s policy before this 'strategic alliance'. Sorry, I don’t want to play under that sort of regime. Like, I always played on the Asian Tour, and got releases no problem. But then they said I shouldn’t play in the Indonesian Open at the end of last year. Come on. No thanks, I don’t want to play that game. It should be obvious why I’ve resigned.”