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Report: Mastercard pauses endorsement deal with Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell

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Two more LIV Golf defectors are in flux with one of their biggest sponsors.

According to the Sports Business Journal, Mastercard has paused its long-time activations with Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell due to "uncertainties around their standing." 

Poulter has been sponsored by Mastercard since 2009 and McDowell has been a brand ambassador since 2011. 

"We appreciate the role they have played as ambassadors for Mastercard and the Tour for the past several years," Mastercard Vice President of Communications Seth Eisen told the Sports Business Journal Friday. 

Mastercard has sponsored the Arnold Palmer Invitational since 2004 and has been the official card sponsor of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions since '95.  

The PGA Tour suspended Poulter, McDowell and many more who defected to the Saudi-backed circuit. 

Mastercard's logo was still on Poulter's collar during LIV Golf's first event last month in London. However, it vanished during the series' second tournament last week in Portland, Oregon. The logo, though, reappeared on Poulter's wardrobe this week at the Genesis Scottish Open, in which Poulter was granted a stay by a British court to play despite being suspended by the DP World Tour. 


Full-field scores from Genesis Scottish Open


Poulter's situation with another sponsor, Stanley Black and Decker, which signed with the Englishman in January, also seems to be murky. The company's logo was not seen on Poulter during the first two LIV events, but he is donning it this week in Scotland. When the SBJ contacted Stanley Black and Decker about their status with Poulter, the company's Vice President of Public Relations Debora Raymond said, "Ian is at the Scottish Open wearing our logo."

Meanwhile, Mastercard is the second sponsor to have an issue with McDowell bolting for LIV Golf. RBC terminated its endorsement deal with McDowell and Dustin Johnson. 

Also, regarding sponsors of other LIV defectors, Rocket Mortgage cut ties with Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson was dropped by KPMG, Workday, Amstel Light and Callaway paused its lifetime contract with the six-time major champion in February.