LIV Golf's Richard Bland makes stunning claim about DP World Tour boss

Richard Bland claims DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley made a stunning admission when he told him he was playing the first LIV Golf event.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 11 Aug 2022
LIV Golf's Richard Bland makes stunning claim about DP World Tour boss

Richard Bland claims DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley told him he'd be "doing the same thing" when the Englishman informed him he was joining the LIV Golf Invitational Series

Bland, 49, was one of the first players to confirm his intentions of playing in the controversial series, where the battle for the future of professional golf finally made its way to the court room for the first time this week. 

Before the British Masters, Bland confirmed he had requested a waiver from the DP World Tour so he could play in the curtain-raising event for LIV Golf at Centurion Club just outside of London. 

Bland, justifying his decision to join LIV, said he had an opportunity to make "the next stage of my life extremely comfortable". 

The waiver request was, as we know, denied and he was one of a number of players who were fined £100,000. 

LIV Golf, backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, have reportedly covered the cost of the fines handed out by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour. 

Bland recently joined former pro footballer Matt Lee Tissier on a podcast and he made a stunning revelation with regards to Pelley. 

"When we played at Centurion, we certainly didn't know what was going on," he said.

"I had two or three meetings with Keith Pelley, our CEO, and he said to me – we were at The Belfry, at the British Masters, and he said: 'If I was in your position I'd do exactly the same as you're going to do.'"

He added: "I basically told him [Pelley] what I was going to do and I've been fairly upfront about the reasons I've done it and it purely is for the money. I'm not ashamed to say that. Who wouldn't at my age?"

His alleged comments clearly are surprising given what he has said publicly. 

Pelley, announcing players were being fined £100,000 and banned from the co-sanctioned Genesis Scottish Open, Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship, said every action anyone takes in life "comes with a consequence". 

He continued: "And it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members.

"Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour, but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf that has been the bedrock of our game for the past half a century and which will also be the foundation upon which we build the next 50 years. 

"Their actions are not fair to the majority of our membership and undermine the Tour, which is why we are taking the action we have announced today."

Bland made $232,000 for finishing T-17 at Centurion Club, $161,000 for finishing T-27 in Portland and $135,000 for finishing T-40 in Bedminster.

The Englishman is competing in the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland on the DP World Tour this week and he started brightly with a round of 5-under 65. 

Next page: LIV Golf boss says there is "misunderstanding" over contracts