Saudi-backed LIV Golf defectors seek to engineer coup against DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley


The ‘sour 16’ Saudi-backed LIV Golf defectors are seeking player support in their Tour fight as they look to engineer a coup against Keith Pelley and the current regime, with group to be backed ‘for as long as it takes’

  • A group of LIV golf rebels have threatened legal action against Keith Pelley
  • The ‘sour 16’ have been banned from competing in the Scottish Open this month
  • They want a meeting of all members to question the alliance with the PGA Tour
  • The Saudis have promised to bankroll any legal action ‘for as long as it takes’

Imagine the sulphurous atmosphere at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Limerick on Monday as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and many of the game’s young stars come face to face with Saudi-backed LIV defectors such as Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Bryson DeChambeau.

Also taking part is Keith Pelley, the CEO of the DP World Tour threatened with legal action by 16 of the defectors for banning them from playing in the Scottish Open, beginning on Thursday.

The two-day Irish event comes at the start of what promises to be another tumultuous week for the sport as the ‘sour 16’ – as they have become known on the DP circuit – try to engineer what amounts to a coup against Pelley and the current regime.

Ian Poulter (left) and Lee Westwood (right) have both joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour 

Keith Pelley, the DP World Tour's CEO, banned the defectors from playing at the Scottish Open

Keith Pelley, the DP World Tour’s CEO, banned the defectors from playing at the Scottish Open

They want a meeting of all members to question the 13-year alliance with the PGA Tour announced recently by Pelley and which they believe is a bad one for the European game. 

They also believe the membership should have been told about a package LIV allegedly offered to Pelley a year ago worth between $700million to $800m.

Pelley contends the tour never received a formal written offer. The Saudis have promised to bankroll any legal action for the defectors ‘for as long as it takes’.

The LIV ranks were swelled on Saturday by Paul Casey, meaning eight of the 24 golfers who competed in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits last year have now joined the outlying circuit.

LIV golfers will play alongside the likes of Rory McIlroy at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Limerick

LIV golfers will play alongside the likes of Rory McIlroy at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Limerick

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