'It's a power struggle, and it's disappointing' – Ian Poulter on PGA Tour's decision to ban LIV Golfers

By Sports Desk June 09, 2022

Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell have hit out at the PGA Tour for their handling of players who have decided to participate in LIV Golf, calling it a "power struggle".

The PGA Tour made the bold move of waiting until after the first LIV Golf event in London had teed off before announcing that any player who participates in the Saudi-backed promotion is "suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play, including the President's Cup."

In the first round of LIV Golf's debut event, Charl Schwartzel earned the outright lead at five under, trailed by Hennie Du Plessis at four under, while Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson were also among the 10 players to finish under par.

Speaking after the round, Poulter strongly disagreed with the PGA Tour's decision to force players to choose between the tours.

"I've played a lot of tournaments all around the world, this event is no different," he said. "It's a shame if they view this as something different.

"I will appeal for sure. It makes no sense. Having two tour cards and the ability to play golf all over the world, what's wrong with that? I believe I've been given permission in the past to play in events around the world.

"I don't know why [the decision was made] – we can all make assumptions as to why. Competition is probably the real reason. It's a power struggle, and it's just disappointing."

Fellow U.K. golfer McDowell echoed Poulter's sentiments, saying it is ridiculous that they are not allowed to compete in events relatively local to them.

"Some guys believe that they shouldn't be in the situation where they have to resign," he said. "They don't feel like they are doing anything wrong. 

"We haven't been issued releases, [but] we feel like we should have been issued releases. We've done it for the last 20 years, operated all over the world.

"We're in the U.K – you've players like myself and Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, we are in our home markets here.

"We should be allowed to operate here as professional golfers. But hey, we all know the situation is about something bigger.

"It's competition and it's not liked. They are having to play the game the way they feel they have to play it, which is playing hard ball.

"We feel confident that we are well-protected and we are going to just try and do our best."

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