LIV Golf players may face frosty welcome in Scotland as 'lawyers are teed up by rebels'

It’s not the start to Scotland’s bumper ‘Festival of Golf’ that we really wanted, is it?

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are among the players who have been prohibited from playing in this week's Genesis Scottish Open after joining LIV Golf.Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images.
Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are among the players who have been prohibited from playing in this week's Genesis Scottish Open after joining LIV Golf.Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images.

As a five-week run of top-class events gets underway in the sport’s cradle, a court case appears to be looming.

According to the Daily Telegraph’s James Corrigan, LIV Golf players banned from this week’s Genesis Scottish Open and each fined £100,000 for playing in the breakaway circuit’s first event last month without an official release have now teed up their lawyers.

They are reported to be seeking an emergency injunction to allow them to play in the $8 million Rolex Series event, which starts on Thursday at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian.

This, of course, is where we were always going to end up after a civil war broke out in the game but, now we’re there, it’s not a nice prospect at all.

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Just think about it. If those players, including former Scottish Open winners Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, as well as Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter, are successful in their court bid, what sort of welcome are they going to get on Scotland’s Golf Coast?

By all accounts, it will be a frosty one from the players still loyal to the DP World Tour because, and rightly so, they don’t feel those breaking membership rules to compete in LIV Golf events should still be able to sit at and take from their table.

And what about the fans? Well, from speaking to a number of people at my home club over the weekend, those players would be very foolish indeed if they think the warm welcome they’ve all received in the past will still be forthcoming.

Just as Scottish fans are applauded for their knowledge of the game when it comes to hitting shots, the majority are switched on to what’s happening in the sport at the moment.

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They’re not fooled into thinking that players are signing up for LIV Golf to grow the game or that the circuit’s team element is remotely like the Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup.

They know full well that every single player now on LIV Golf’s roster is there for one reason and one reason only - a pile of money, which, of course, is coming out of Saudi pockets.

Apparently, Sergio Garcia threw a hissy fit in the locker-room at the recent BMW International Open in Munich, where his rant about the DP World Tour was overheard by other players.

No-one wants to see that sort of behaviour escalating and certainly not in either the Genesis Scottish Open or next week’s 150th Open at St Andrews.

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Yes, LIV Golf players will be in the field for the season’s final major because, like the USGA, the R&A couldn’t really do anything to prohibit the rebels on this occasion, though next year might be different.

But, quite frankly, they don’t deserve to be part of this historic week as the Genesis Scottish Open becomes the first event to be co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.

As Padraig Harrington said, you’ve made your bed, lads, and now you’ve now got to lie on it. In the meantime, let a field that includes 14 of the world’s top-15 players put on a show this week and ignite a sensational spell of golf in Scotland.

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