Players hoping to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series have been dealt another blow after the DP World Tour followed the PGA Tour in refusing release requests.
Huge names including Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson had confirmed their intention to play in the curtain-raiser in St Albans next month.
However, on Tuesday the PGA Tour refused to grant releases to allow players to play in the controversial Saudi-backed league, citing the “significant and unreasonable harm” it would cause.
It also made the decision based on the fact several of the league’s events will be held in the States.
Now, according to James Corrigan in the Telegraph, the DP World Tour has followed suit.
The circuit received dozens of requests from players, but they will not be permitted to tee it up in the rebel series’ opener at Centurion Club.
The news is likely to further enrage LIV chief executive Greg Norman, who responded to the PGA Tour’s decision by accusing the circuit of denying golfers their “right to play” and branding bosses “anti-golf”.
“The Tour’s action is anti-golfer, anti-fan, and anti-competitive,” he said.
“But no matter what obstacles the PGA Tour puts in our way, we will not be stopped. We will continue to give players options that promote the great game of golf globally.”
With a prize fund of $25 million, the first event will become the richest in golf history when it is staged in June.
Further events with similar amounts up for grabs will follow around the world, including in Saudi Arabia and the US.