Ryder Cup Legends Westwood, Poulter, Garcia Quit European Tour

Sergio Garcia Ian Poulter 2018 Ryder Cup
Team Europe’s Sergio Garcia (left) and Ian Poulter celebrate after Europe wins the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris. (Photo by David Davies / PA Images via Getty Images)

Four LIV Golf players formally resigned from the United Arab Emirates-backed DP World Tour.

Headlining the foursome was the trio of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia – three of Europe’s all-time great Ryder Cup names.

The players’ decision to resign is the result of last month’s judgement by Sport Resolutions, which ruled in favor of the DP World Tour, allowing the tour to impose fines of $125,000.

In a terse statement, the former European Tour said, “Their resignations, however, along with the sanctions imposed upon them, are a consequence of their own choices.”

Instead of paying the fine, the players chose to step down.

This will likely mean the end of Garcia’s historic run at the Ryder Cup, which dates to 1999 when the popular Spaniard was just 19. In nine appearances, the 2017 Masters champion holds the Ryder Cup record for wins (25) and points (28.5).

Ian Poulter Ryder Cup
Ian Poulter celebrates after winning his match and clinching the Ryder Cup for the Europeans at Le Golf National in Paris, France. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Poulter, nicknamed the “Postman” for delivering in the biennial matches, will be remembered most for his performance in 2012 at Medinah which stamped the Englishman as a Ryder Cup legend. In a four-ball match, partnered with Rory McIlory, Poulter reeled off five consecutive birdies to spark Europe to the greatest comeback by a visiting team.

Meanwhile, Westwood spent three decades on the then European Tour and remained committed to the tour during its many down periods as it struggled to find sponsors and TV deals. He owns 25 wins on what now is titled the DP World Tour. He won the tour’s points title three times and reached No. 1 in the world in 2010. His 11 appearances in the Ryder Cup are the most by a European player.

Westwood told The Daily Telegraph it was “a sad day.”

“I could not really see any other option with all the punishments hanging over me,” said Westwood.

Lee Westwood Wins Nedbank Golf Challenge Sun City
Lee Westwood and girlfriend/caddie, Helen Storey, pose with the trophy after winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player CC on November 11, 2018 in Sun City, South Africa. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

He added that he doesn’t agree with the direction set by European tour CEO Keith Pelley, and “wants to move on.”

Richard Bland also resigned. He has one tour victory.

Other European players, such as Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, and Bernd Wiesberger, would need to pay the fine if they want to stay on tour.

AP Wire report used to produce this content.


Please enter your name here