Published on: Amended:
San Francisco (AFP) – The Saudi-backed LIV golf series has joined an anti-trust lawsuit against the US PGA Tour brought by players who defected to the Rebel Tour and received indefinite suspensions from the PGA.
An amended lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in San Jose alleges the PGA used a monopoly position to restrict competition and unfairly barred those who left for LIV Golf.
The lawsuit was originally filed by 11 LIV Golf players, but four players were not included in the updated filing – Mexicans Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz and Americans Pat Perez and Jason Kokrak.
Seven still on trial include Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Matt Jones, Talor Gooch, Peter Uihlein and Hudson Swafford.
LIV Golf is seeking punitive damages from the PGA for what it calls “flagrant interference” with the contract and potential business dealings.
Swafford, Gooch and Jones were denied a chance to compete in the PGA’s FedEx Cup Playoffs when a judge denied a court appeal.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next July while a trial date for the trial is set for January 2024.
LIV Golf has attracted several big-name players, including Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed, with record purses of $25 million and guaranteed contracts for some talent.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced several changes for the 2023 season on Wednesday that will see top players appear in 12 “high” events with an average prize pool of $20 million and a guaranteed income of $500,000 for all players. PGA players fully exempted in moves to combat the LIV Golf Menace.
LIV Golf is reportedly announcing that more PGA players have joined the series following this weekend’s season-ending PGA Tour Championship.
The next LIV Golf events, which feature just 54 holes instead of 72 and shotgun tees on every hole of a course, are next week in Boston and two weeks later in Chicago.
© 2022 AFP