The decision from February’s Arbitration Panel Hearing at Sports Resolutions in London is expected to “drag on longer than expected” according to the Daily Mail’s Chief sports feature writer Riath Al-Samarrai (opens in new tab).
Samarrai and Sportsmail report that the “latest working estimate” is that the decision will be somewhere in the region of two-to-four months, meaning it could come as late as June.
It was initially expected to be announced on the Sports Resolutions website two-to-three weeks after the one-week panel hearing was conducted at the start of February.
The hearing was related to the DP World Tour’s ability to ban and fine players for going against their denied releases for playing in the LIV opener last year. A number of players had their release requests denied for the Saudi-backed debut at Centurion Club last June but played anyway.
The delayed decision means that Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald will have to wait longer to know for sure whether the LIV rebels will be allowed to play their way onto his European team, which will be made up of six automatic qualifiers and six wildcard picks.
As it stands, the LIV Golf players are well outside of the qualification spots but a LIV win from the hearing would mean that they can continue plying their trade on the DP World Tour right up until the Ryder Cup. If the decision goes in favour of the DP World Tour, it would likely spell the end of the road on the DP World Tour and in the Ryder Cup for players including Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey.
It seems unlikely that any would receive wildcard picks from Donald following comments made by Rory McIlroy last year. The Northern Irishman stated: “I have said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, I don’t think any of those guys should be on the Ryder Cup team. I think we were in need of a rebuild, anyway. We did well with the same guys for a very long time but again as I just said, everything comes to an end at some point.”
World No.1 Jon Rahm has a slightly different outlook than McIlroy, as does Matt Fitzpatrick, who wants the team to be made up of the best players possible, LIV or not.
While Rahm would like his compatriot and partner from Whistling Straits last time out, Sergio Garcia, on the side, he admitted on the No Laying Up podcast that he thinks the decision has already been made to exclude the LIV players.
“I think the Ryder Cup posted a video of [Francesco] Molinari on his birthday, right? Like they were doing that,” Rahm told No Laying Up. “The day before I knew it was Sergio’s birthday and they didn’t do it, so I think the decision has been made for me.”
The 2023 LIV Golf League got underway in Mexico last week, the first of the 14-event $405m season.