- A group of 11 LIV golfers have sued the PGA Tour for anticompetitive practices
- Among the complainants is Phil Mickelson who was suspended in March
- The PGA Tour has vowed to contest the lawsuit
The PGA Tour is facing an antitrust lawsuit from golfers associated with the LIV Golf. The group of 11 players, including Phil Mickelson (USA) and Bryson DeChambeau (USA), made the move after the tour handed down suspensions to players taking part in LIV events.
LIV Golf is a breakaway golf series founded in 2021 and funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The inaugural LIV event took place in London back in June, and so far, multiple players have resigned from the PGA Tour to join the upstart professional golf league. Meanwhile, some golfers who remain hesitant to officially leave the Tour have been slapped with suspensions each time they participate in LIV events.
PGA Tour Accused of Causing Harm to Players
In a lawsuit filed on August 3 in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the plaintiffs have accused the PGA Tour of causing harm to players and trying to disrupt the launch of a new competitive golf series which is seen as a threat to the tour’s professional golf monopoly.
The other players involved in the legal action are Matt Jones (AUS), Carlos Ortiz (ESP) Peter Uihlein (USA) , Hudson Swafford (USA), Abraham Ancer (ESP), Ian Poulter (ENG), Talor Gooch (USA) and Jason Kokrak (USA).
Swafford, Jones and Gooch are also seeking a temporary restraining order so they can be allowed to take part in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs, a three-tournament series that will determine the PGA Tour season champion. All three were initially part of the 125 players eligible to play the championship events but were disqualified after joining LIV. They will be replaced by those outside the top 125, according to the PGA Tour.
PGA Tour Commissioner Responds to Lawsuit
Responding to the lawsuit, Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner, issued a memo to tour members, informing them of the lawsuit filed by the 11 players. He said officials will do everything to protect the tour from what he describes as “free riders” who only want to use the tour platform to promote themselves.
Monahan also maintained that the players involved in the lawsuit are aware of the tour’s rules and regulations and have been suspended for joining LIV. The complainants are now demanding re-entry into the PGA Tour events and allowing them to do that will compromise the tour, he said.