LIV Golf fallout: Mastercard suspends partnerships with Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell

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Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell have become the latest golfers to run into issues with sponsors over their involvement with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League this week after Mastercard announced it was suspending its endorsement deals with the duo.

Seth Eisen, vice president of communications for Mastercard, told the Sports Business Journal on Friday that the company had “suspended” its relationship with the two due to “uncertainties surrounding their position with the PGA Tour.”

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell seventh during day one of the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor Golf Club in Adare, Limerick.
(Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

“We appreciate the role they have played as ambassadors for Mastercard and the Tour over the past few years.”

IAN POULTER AND TWO OTHERS WIN OPEN BAN APPEAL IN SCOTTISH: ‘IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO’

Poulter and McDowell began their relationship with Mastercard in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

Poulter competes in Scottish Open this week after a UK court granted him a temporary reprieve from the DP World Tour ban on players who took part in the first-ever LIV Golf event in London last month

Ian Poulter of England watches a putt on the 15th green during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 3, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.

Ian Poulter of England watches a putt on the 15th green during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 3, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.
(Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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“I had no other choice, did I? I had to appeal. I’m not going to sit down when I think it’s slightly unfair,” Poulter said earlier this week . “It was the right thing to do.”

The bans included fines of around $120,000 and barred those players from competing in the Scottish Open, Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship – all events co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

The Tour announced its own indefinite ban in May of players participating in LIV Golf events without a PGA Tour release or those who resigned their membership to do so.

Several other players have lost sponsorships due to the controversy.

Dustin Johnson of the United States plays his shot from the 14th tee during the final round at RBC Heritage on June 21, 2020 at Harbor Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC

Dustin Johnson of the United States plays his shot from the 14th tee during the final round at RBC Heritage on June 21, 2020 at Harbor Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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RBC, which sponsors the Heritage and the Canadian Open, ended his partnership with Dustin Johnson and McDowell after announcing deals with LIV Golf. Rocket Mortgage also ended its partnership with Bryson DeChambeau, citing the Rocket Mortgage Classic and its relationship with the PGA Tour.