Lee Westwood is BANNED from the Senior Open due to ‘outstanding fines’ owed to DP World Tour

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Lee Westwood is BANNED from the Senior Open due to ‘outstanding fines’ owed to DP World Tour – as the LIV rebel vows never rejoin the Tour despite shock LIV merger

  • The 50-year-old resigned in May alongside Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter
  • LIV’s merger with the PGA is yet to resolve the chasm between their players
  • Westwood took to Twitter to argue that he had no fines due to resignation 

Lee Westwood is adamant that he will never rejoin the DP World Tour after being banned from playing in this summer’s Senior Open for not paying fines of over £800,000, according to reports. 

The Tour’s shock merger with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund-owned LIV Golf will see the PGA and European Tours form a unified, as yet unnamed, enitity, which is set to see shunned LIV golfers reintegrated into Tour events. 

Westwood, Sergio Garcia, and Ian Poulter were among the LIV rebels to resign their membership of the Tour in May after facing severe sanctions for joining the Saudi-backed circuit. 

But the 50-year-old is unlikely to return under happier terms, due to the outstanding fines that he is yet to pay to the Tour. 

As per the Telegraph, the Tour’s chief executive Keith Pelley is insistent that any rebels with fines outstanding settle them before rejoining to ensure their eligibility for – among other events – the Ryder Cup. 

Lee Westwood has been barred from playing in the Senior Open due to 'outstanding fines'

Lee Westwood has been barred from playing in the Senior Open due to ‘outstanding fines’

The 50-year-old was hoping to make his debut at the tournament at Royal Porthcawl in July

The 50-year-old was hoping to make his debut at the tournament at Royal Porthcawl in July

The fines are believed to amount to £830,000, in addition to the £100,000 Westwood paid the Tour in 2022 for appearing in LIV’s opening tournament. 

Westwood had intended to make his debut at Royal Porthcawl after turning 50, but a rejection email sent to the player, and fellow competitor Richard Bland said that the Senior Open were ‘not willing to approve’ their application for entry due to ‘outstanding fines’. 

The golfer said he was ‘puzzled’ by the response, saying: ‘The Senior Open has said I have to pay ‘outstanding fines’ , but I don’t ‘have to’ as I’ve resigned my membership of the Tour and I don’t intend rejoining.

‘I’m puzzled. I didn’t know you have to be a member of European Tour to play in the Senior Open. It is not very “open” if that’s so, is it?’

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Majors such as the event at Royal Porthcawl have largely kept above the fray and have allowed LIV players to compete alongside players from their former Tour, but the Senior Open is jointly owned by the R&A and DP World Tour. 

Upon publication of the report, Westwood hit back at the idea that he had fines outstanding with the Tour, and took to Twitter to share his thoughts. 

Westwood praised the writer, but noted a ‘couple of inaccuracies’. 

‘On being the size of the fines should I ever wish to join the DP World Tour again. Which I don’t, so I don’t have any outstanding fines. I’m not sure which fines the email related to? It’s puzzling.’

The golfer then goes on to tag the R&A, in a bid to request further clarification from The Open organiser. 

The merger between the rebel circuit and the Tour is set to throw up further controversy when it emerged on Thursday that the US Justice Department were set to review the plan. 

But the PGA Tour argued that the agreement was an important investment that would benefit the game. 

Westwood hit back at the report on Twitter, arguing that relinquishing his membership meant he had no fines

Westwood hit back at the report on Twitter, arguing that relinquishing his membership meant he had no fines

‘We are confident that once all stakeholders learn more about how the PGA Tour will lead this new venture, they will understand how it benefits our players, fans, and sport while protecting the American institution of golf,’ the US-based circuit said in a statement.

Critics of the LIV Golf circuit have accused the PIF-led organisation of ‘sportswashing’ its human rights record, whilst those golfers who left to join the circuit tempted by contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have attracted allegations of greed from both their detractors in the general public and amongst their colleagues. 

The newly-formed unified company will have to bridge the chasm between players who stayed loyal to the Tour and those who defected. 

Mail Sport reported on Wednesday that the PIF were exploring offering compensation to those such as Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and John Rahm, who refused to be lured away from the Tour.

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