Golf stars cop whopping fine after joining breakaway LIV league

Charl Schwartzel (pictured left) holds the winners trophy and poses for a photo with Greg Norman (pictured right).
The DP World Tour has fined the golfers who participated in the LIV Golf tournament, which is backed by golfing great Greg Norman (pictured right). (Getty Images)

The DP World tour has taken action and fined members who played in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series PS100,000 ($A177,835) apiece and further banned them from the upcoming Scottish Open and two other events.

Players like Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia all joined the Saudi-backed breakaway venture at Hertfordshire earlier this month despite not having received releases to do so.

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The move has sparked a division in the golfing world with Rory McIlroy leading the criticism of those who have switched sides.

Last weekend, the PGA Tour immediately indefinitely banned all its members within minutes of the players teeing off at Centurion Club but the DP World Tour delayed making a decision.

However, citing a breach of regulations it has now imposed sanctions, which in addition to the six-figure sum fines includes removing all involved from the Scottish Open, which is held the week before the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, plus the Barbasol Championship the same week as the Scottish Open and the Barracuda Championship (the week of the Open).

The DP World Tour also said any subsequent involvement in the LIV Golf Series, whose next event starts in Portland, Oregon, next week, may result in additional punishments.

Rory McIlory rips into Brooks Koepka

While the DP tour took action on Friday, the biggest story of the week was Brooks Koepka's defection to LIV golf.

Koepka, a former World No.1, became the latest big name to join the lucrative Greg Norman-fronted LIV Series, joining a list that includes six-times major champion Phil Mickelson, former Masters winner Dustin Johnson and former US Open victor Bryson DeChambeau.

Koepka has previously spoken out against LIV golf in 2020 and appeared he wouldn't join, until this week.

Among the PGA Tour's most vocal backers, McIlroy, speaking to the media ahead of this week's Travelers Championship in Connecticut, criticised Koepka and others for turning their backs on the PGA Tour after previously expressing their support.

Brooks Koepka (pictured) plays his second shot on the third hole during the second round of the 2022 US.Open Championship.
Brooks Koepka (pictured) joined LIV Golf in the latest big name to side with the breakaway league. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images) (David Cannon via Getty Images)

"Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he (Koepka) said previously," said McIlroy, who has moved up to No.2 in the world rankings following a successful title defence at the Canadian Open and tie for fifth at the US Open.

"That's why I'm surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another.

"It's pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing."

with AAP

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