Graeme McDowell wants player vote to decide future of LIV golfers – but Rory McIlroy disagrees

Graeme McDowell wants player vote to decide golfers’ future at LIV – but Rory McIlroy disagrees – Reuters

Graeme McDowell believes it shouldn’t be a judge deciding whether LIV Rebels are banned from the DP World Tour, but a vote from circuit players.

However, the Northern Irishman’s proposal did not win the approval of Rory McIlroy, his countryman and former close confidante.

McDowell plans to speak to Keith Pelley – the chief executive of what until earlier this year was known as the European Tour – about an idea he believes could avoid a legal hearing due in February.

“I don’t care what a courtroom suggests, this to me is about the members of the DP World Tour and whether they feel like me and the other big names playing LIV Golf can bring any value to this tour moving forward,” he said. McDowell. .

“If they think that’s something they don’t want, great, let’s get to that decision and move on because a lack of clarity isn’t good for anybody.

“I wish I had asked the question at the players’ meeting the other night. What’s the process? Is there a way to expedite it? Does it have to happen in court? Let’s email the Tour’s 326 members and maybe two videos; one of the LIV players that says we’d like to support this tour eight, 10, 12 times a year, and then the other side of it would be Keith Pelley’s statement this week.”

At that meeting at the Wentworth club, Pelly was scathing about the Saudi-sponsored series, accusing the LIV series of running a “propaganda machine” against the traditional Tours. The Canadian’s words drew much praise in the locker room

McIlroy is just one of the big names to have stuck with Wentworth HQ and the PGA Tour by turning down hundreds of millions to join LIV and on Wednesday announced he “shouldn’t be here”, referring to the 15 players under LIV contracts who is featured in this week’s BMW PGA Championship.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy gestures on the 4th tee during his first round on Day 1 of the BMW PGA Championship - AFP

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy gestures on the 4th tee during his first round on Day 1 of the BMW PGA Championship – AFP

The world No 3 is unimpressed with McDowell’s plan and his comments provide further evidence of the split within the game. McIlroy’s first six Ryder Cup matches were alongside McDowell, whom he once called “my big brother in golf”.

“I didn’t know he made the rules,” McIlroy said when asked about McDowell’s suggestions. “At this point with the legal stuff and everything, you just have to go by the book.

“If you follow the rules and regulations of the tours, then by all means you can play, but if you have broken the rules and regulations, the actions have consequences and live with the consequences. the minute, but in February it can.

“It’s impressive that it has come to this point, that the future of their golf career depends on one person [a judge]. It ‘s crazy. But they put themselves in that position.”

McDowell agreed to Pelley’s request not to put any LIV logos on the first day here, but Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood did have the ‘Majesticks’ crest – the team they both play for at LIV – on their jerseys .

Greeted with some boos on the first tee, Poulter shot a three-under 69, five clear of the lead shared by Tommy Fleetwood, Victor Hovland and Andy Sullivan, while McIlroy carded a 68.

Westwood is at two under with two to play, one of 30 of 144 in the field yet to complete their rounds. Play was immediately halted when news of the Queen’s death broke at 6.30pm.

Out of respect, there will be no play on Friday, with the Tour deciding whether play will continue at all.

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