If it were a film today, international golf would be a western. Not a spaghetti western given the marginal role of our professionals in the plot. It would be a metropolitan western where rich and richer collide instead of good and bad.
The role of the sheriff is vacant (and it could not be otherwise in a sport that, by definition, has no referees). The cowboys are always there and defend the signs of the PGA Tour and in the late evening those of the DP World Tour (former European Tour, sponsored for some months by the Emiratis of Dubai Port, a logistics company with 8.5 billion dollars in turnover).
In this metropolitan western, the Indians have given way to the Arabs of the LIVGolf tribe, led by former cowboy Greg Norman. The rest is a well-known story: LIVGolf by dint of millions of dollars is bringing many professional players to its side.
PGA Tour and DP World Tour, in addition to the promise of a fistful of dollars more, close in a hedgehog in their fort. "Give up all hope of playing with us, you who play even once for LIVGolf" is written on the front door of the fort defended by Jay Mohanan and Keith Pelley, respectively commissioner of the PGA and CEO of the former European Tour.
Too bad that the second did not deal well with the antechamber of justice. Three professionals suspended by him for playing the debut match of the Arab SuperLeague approached Sport Resolution Uk, a non-profit legal body that provides interpretations on sports law and beyond.
According to SR Uk experts, Ian Poulter, Adrain Otaguei and Justin Harding cannot be sanctioned by the Tour as in possession of the regular card to play there in 2022. The English, the Spanish and the South African return through the main gate in the next organized race by DP in conjunction with PGA Tour, namely this weekend's Genesis Scottish Open.
Lapidary Ian The Postman Poulter: "My commitment to the European Tour is documented since the first day I set foot there. I am proud to have played there and to play so often, although I could have made more money by choosing America.
" And again: “I am disappointed and offended by the suspension from a Tour of which I have been a member for 24 years. My constraint was to play at least four races per season. I have done many more and will continue to fight for my right to play golf ”.
Given this precedent, without any legally better grip, all the sanctions announced by Pelley could end up in the attic soon. And eyes also on the appeal against the PGA Tour ...
Graeme Mc Dowell, history
But the far west climate does not emerge only from a legal dispute.
Graeme Mc Dowell was threatened with death for playing on the LIVGolf. You read that right: a golf pro was threatened with death. “Not a day goes by without my fear of opening my Twitter or Instagram accounts. Every time I do it I find someone who wishes me death ”he said on the sidelines of an international pro am in Ireland.
G-Mac has more than a pebble in his holster against the former European Tour, accused of hypocrisy for having taken the Saudi dollars for two years only to then challenge them to a duel. “In two weeks, Joe Biden will take a plane to meet Mohammed bin Salman because he needs his oil.
Nobody says anything while we golfers who play for LIVGolf have been called the worst people in the world ”. And it doesn't end there. The next installment of the golf version of the OK Corral challenge will probably be linked to the rules of engagement to enter the US and Europe Ryder Cup 2023 Teams.