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Golf: the consequences of leaving for the LIV circuit

The PGA Tour has asked a federal judge to dismiss the appeal of three players who joined the LIV Tour, backed by Saudi funds, and now want to compete in the PGA Playoffs.

According to the American professional circuit, the players knew the consequences of their decision two months ago.

Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford filed an injunction order last week, separate from a 10-player antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., two days before the first of three FedEx Cup playoff tournaments, which offer a grand prize of $18 million.

The FedEx St. Jude Championship takes place in Memphis this weekend and a total purse of $15 million will be given away. The top 70 golfers will advance to the second playoff tournament in Wilmington, Delaware.

Gooch (20th), Jones (65th) and Swafford (67th) are among nine players who joined the LIV Tour and finished the PGA regular season in the top-125 of the FedEx Cup standings. The other six players did not request to participate in the playoffs.

In a deposition against the injunction order on Monday, the PGA argues that antitrust laws do not allow the three players to have “the butter and the butter’s money.”

‘Even though they knew full well they would violate PGA rules and be suspended, the plaintiffs joined the LIV golf league, which paid them tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in guaranteed money , provided by Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth funds,” the PGA mentioned in its motion.

The PGA therefore argues that the players knew they would not be eligible for the PGA Playoffs “when they accepted millions from LIV to breach their agreement” with the Tour.

The players were not suspended until they participated in a first tournament on the LIV circuit.

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