Eleven players, including stars Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, involved in LIV Golf, the dissident league financed by Saudi funds, filed a complaint on Wednesday against the North American PGA Tour, for “anti-competitive practice” which led to their suspension. The action in justicefiled in a California court, is challenging the suspensions until further notice imposed by PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan on all players who played in the first three LIV tournaments.
“Threatened by the emergence of LIV Golf and diametrically opposed to its founding mission, the Tour has worked hard to damage the careers and livelihoods of all golfers… who have the temerity to challenge it and participate in tournaments organized by the new organization. The circuit acted intentionally and relentlessly to crush nascent competition before it threatened its monopoly.
Three “dissident” players, the Australian Matt Jones as well as the Americans Talor Gooch and Hudson Swafford, have also asked to benefit from a temporary order in order to be able to participate in the playoffs of the FedEx Cup, triptych whose first part is scheduled next week in Memphis, Tennessee. This trio had accumulated enough points in the classification dedicated to this event, before committing to LIV Golf and being de facto suspended by the PGA Tour.
The PGA does not budge
In a memo to players and obtained by The Golf Channel, Jay Monahan assured them that the PGA is “prepared to protect” its members and “to challenge this umpteenth attempt to disrupt the circuit”, ensuring “to have confidence in the legal position of his instance.
“These suspended players, who are now employees of LIV Golf, have left the circuit and now want to return. As LIV Golf is on hiatus, they are trying through their lawyers to force their return to competition alongside our members in good standing. Allowing them to participate in our tournaments compromises the circuit,” he added.
“The players are right to have brought this action to challenge the anti-competitive rules of the PGA Tour and to assert their rights to play where and when they want,” commented LIV Golf, whose next event is scheduled. September 4 in Boston.