Many players who were suspended by the PGA Tour for participating in the LIV Golf Invitational Series are not taking the decision lying down. Eleven of those golfers have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Ian Poulter are among the players who are part of the lawsuit, which was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones are in the group and have requested to play in the 2022 FedExCup Playoffs.
Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez and Peter Uihlein are also part of the lawsuit.
Prior to the final regular-season event of the 2022 PGA Tour season, players who have competed for LIV Golf were removed from the FedExCup standings. The top 70 players in the regular-season standings qualify for the PGA Tour’s postseason.
Here’s the letter PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan just sent membership regarding today’s lawsuit.
I see we’re still going with “Saudi Golf League.” pic.twitter.com/Ajv6VBsG9Q
— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) August 3, 2022
“As part of its carefully orchestrated plan to defeat competition, the Tour has threatened lifetime bans on players who play in even a single LIV Golf event,” the lawsuit reads, according to ESPN. “It has backed up these threats by imposing unprecedented suspensions on players (including the Plaintiffs) that threaten irreparable harm to the players and their ability to pursue their profession. It has threatened sponsors, vendors, and agents to coerce players to abandon opportunities to play in LIV Golf events. And it has orchestrated a per se unlawful group boycott with the European Tour to deny LIV Golf access to their members.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan responded to the lawsuit Wednesday in a letter to PGA Tour members. Monahan stated that the suspended players are trying to force their way back into PGA Tour competitions while LIV Golf is on hiatus.
Three of the eight events on the 2022 LIV Golf schedule have been played. The series is set to resume on Sept. 2 in Boston.
“It’s an attempt to use the tour’s platform to promote themselves and to freeride on your benefits and efforts,” Monahan said. “To allow reentry into our events compromises the tour and the competition, to the detriment of our organization, our players, our partners and our fans. The lawsuit they have filed somehow expects us to believe the opposite, which is why we intend to make our case clearly and vigorously.
“Let me be clear: we will continue to defend the members who abide by the regulations written by and for the players.”
The Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina concludes the PGA Tour’s regular season from Thursday through Sunday. Next week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship is the first of three postseason tournaments.