Mastercard ‘pauses’ deals with Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell over LIV Golf

There are some things money can’t buy, but Mastercard does not want to be in business with LIV Golf players — at least not at the moment.

Sports Business Journal reported that the credit card company has “paused its activations” with Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell after their decision to defect from the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf. The move was made in “recognizing the uncertainties surrounding their standing with the PGA Tour,” Mastercard said in a statement.

Mastercard is also a long-time partner of the PGA Tour and the title sponsor of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 46-year-old Poulter has three PGA Tour and 10 DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) wins. Before he bolted for LIV Golf, it was rumored that he’d been offered in the range of $20-30 million to make the jump.

Ian Poulter (right) and Graeme McDowell have had their deals with Mastercard “paused” due to their affiliations with Saudi-backed LIV Golf.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

McDowell, 42, won the 2010 US Open and has 14 total wins between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

This past week, Poulter and a few other players from LIV were granted an injunction to be allowed to play in the Scottish Open on the DP World Tour despite being suspended.

Rory McIlroy said Poulter was “wrong” to be indulging in a “cake-and-eat-it type of attitude.”

Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell at a LIV Golf party.
Ian Poulter (right) and Graeme McDowell at a LIV Golf party.
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The PGA Tour has issued indefinite suspensions to the players who joined LIV Golf. The ballooning list includes stars such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Patrick Reed.

LIV Golf, backed by the Saudi regime, is led by Greg Norman. Norman has downplayed human rights concerns as the tour has doled out hundreds of millions of dollars to entice golfers to commit to a schedule that includes fewer dates, higher purses than the PGA Tour and guaranteed money


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