LIV Golf Rebels in a tense conversation with DP World Tour CEO Keith Bailey

The tone for the DP World Tour’s flagship week was set at a tense AGM on Monday morning when LIV rebels – including Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia – questioned CEO Keith Bailey.

Eighteen players from the Saudi-funded series will play in this week’s BMW PGA Championship at West Course, and although it doesn’t start until Thursday, they have already made their presence felt.

As revealed by Telegraph Sport last week, The tour expected uncomfortable scenes LIV Golf chartered a plane to fly overnight from Boston to make sure golfers would be at Wentworth Club in time for the meeting.

Play at The International didn’t end until just before midnight UK time – Dustin Johnson swinging a 40-foot vulture for the $4 million first prize, and Westwood racking up over $1 million in fourth – but they were both in Surrey by a bit. 10 hours later.

Westwood, García, Poulter and others challenged Bailey to reveal details of a “strategic alliance” with the PGA Tour, as well as issues such as potential penalties that might come in the way of LIV players after the US circuit issued an indefinite ban.

However, Bailey was able to protect himself with a lawsuit held in February, in which dissidents will seek to overturn the $100,000 fines and suspension provided by the DP World Tour – the European Tour previously in June.

“KP hit really well,” one of the Tour players told Telegraph Sport. “He stuck to his ground and confidently took it up. However, the LIV player had a different interpretation of the actions.

“We didn’t get as many questions as we wanted and Keith continued to reply saying ‘We’re in the middle of an ongoing legal case, so I can’t give you an answer,'” the player told Telegraph Sport. “He also said the DP World Tour was a route to the PGA Tour, but he did not. Say “round feeding”. At least, his answers are now written.”

Westwood declined to comment when asked about his opinion of the meeting, though he did make clear his feelings about his close ties to the PGA Tour in an interview with Golf Digest last week, particularly with a new relationship that will see the top 10 pros in the DP World rankings at the end of the season harvest cards PGA Tour..

“I mean, what company or organization gives its top 10 assets at the end of every year — especially to a competitor or competitor?” Westwood said. “I’m not convinced by the Strategic Alliance because I’ve seen how the PGA Tour has behaved over the years There hasn’t been much ‘giving in.’ They’ve always been bullies… He’s told Keith and other members of his board how this is all going for 12 months now. I told him that getting in To bed with the PGA Tour was a mistake.”

Westwood and Co’s claim is that the tour should have accepted an offer from Saudi Arabia in 2021 that they insist would have amounted to more than $1 billion, and would have made Wentworth HQ a serious contender for American dominance.

However, Bailey rejected this, telling his members in June that “this wasn’t a good deal financially for the European Tour” and that “the numbers were not even close to the people being reported in the media and in the players’ lounge over the past two months”. The argument became increasingly personal, and inevitably led to resentment on both sides.

Many in the loyal locker room are furious that the LIV players decided to appear at the $8 million event at Wentworth, disqualifying their lower-ranked teammates. Two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy said he would “struggle to bear” seeing the rebels in Wentworth and Matt Fitzpatrick describing it as “embarrassing, simple, strange and disappointing”.

On Sunday, Paul McGinley, a former Ryder Cup captain and member of the Tour’s board of directors, claimed in an interview that “no golfer on the European Tour wants Leaf players to participate in our tournaments,” although after Gonzalo Fernandez Castaño, seven times the Tour winner went to Twitter to object to this comment, and was obligated to clarify that it meant “every past and present player I have spoken to”.