The DP World Tour confirmed it has received membership resignations from Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Richard Bland and Lee Westwood who were sanctioned for ‘serious breaches’ of tour regulations committed last June when the players joined the LIV Golf League.
The resignations bring an end to years of success both on the European Tour and via the Ryder Cup for the quartet.
Ian Poulter won 12 tournaments on the European Tour, including the prestigious BMW PGA Championship in 2018. He has also been a key member of the European Ryder Cup team, playing in five winning teams and contributing crucial points in each competition.
Lee Westwood won 25 tournaments on the European Tour and was the tour's Order of Merit winner in 2000 and 2009. He has also represented Europe in ten consecutive Ryder Cups, winning on seven occasions and being a part of the victorious team that won back-to-back in 2018 and 2019.
Sergio Garcia is one of the most successful golfers from Europe of all time. He has won 16 tournaments on the European Tour, including the flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship in 2014. In addition to that, he has won the Masters Tournament in 2017, and has represented Europe in nine Ryder Cups, including the victorious 2018 team.
A DP World Tour spokesperson 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.”
A further update on other sanctioned members is expected to follow today.