Update July 5 3:30 p.m. Branden Grace has been added as a fourth LIV player to the field. There will now be 160 players teeing off in the Scottish Open due to the court decree.
The largest arrow in the quiver of the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour in attempting to keep LIV Golf from raiding their ranks is their belief that players who chose to defect could be kept from being allowed to compete on the tours for which they normally compete.
But theSport Resolutions portion of the International Dispute Resolution Centre, an non-profit arbitrator in the UK, has granted three LIV players the chance to compete in the Scottish Open this week, an event for which they would have been exempt if not for a suspension incurred by joining LIV.
Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding will be able to play in the Scottish Open start Thursday at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. However this is only a temporary stay regarding their status, and a full hearing with regards to their full ability to play both tours will come later.
Even if it’s just an injunction, it’s a major victory for the LIV players that are seeking full independent contractor status, and the right to ply their trade anywhere they’ve qualified. To accommodate the newly-added players, the field for the Scottish Open will be expanded by the projected 156 players.
The Scottish Open, alongside the Barbasol and Barracuda Championships in the United States, are all being co-sponsored by the PGA TOUR and the DP World Tour as part of a new agreement between the leagues. How the fields of any event in the United States might be affected, or how any co-sponsorship arrangement could be changed, is unknown as of now.
But for LIV and the players that have defected to the Saudi-backed tour that’s covering the sport in cash, it’s a victory as something keeping their tour from even more big names is the thought of suspension from the major European and American tours for leaving is an inhibitor in expanding the roster.