The world of men’s professional golf just got deeper into controversy as LIV Golf very much upped the ante with 11 players reportedly filing an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
This is the news appearing in the Wall Street Journal and being widely reported elsewhere, indicating LIV Golf players, headed by Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Ian Poulter, and including Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Hudson Swafford and Peter Uihlein have joined the intended lawsuit.
The lawsuit follows the news of a memo authored by Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and sent to all by the PGA Tour late on Tuesday (US time) confirming they were removing the names of all LIV players from the 2021/22 FedEx Cup points standing ahead of this week’s Wyndham Championship. The memo also savaged LIV Golf stating: “The Tour’s conduct serves no purpose other than to cause harm to players and foreclose the entry of the first meaningful competitive threat the Tour has faced in decades.”
On top of this lawsuit three other LIV players – Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford are seeking ‘Temporary Restraining Order to allow them to compete in the upcoming FedEx Cup Playoff Series, starting next week in Memphis. All three were inside the top-115 before having their names removed.
In responding to the threat of legal action, Monahan also in his memo accused the LIV players of: “trying to use lawyers to force their way into competition alongside our members in good standing and it’s an attempt to use the Tour platform to promote themselves and to freeride on your benefits and efforts.”
And with news of this proposed next serious move in the biggest controversy to rock men’s professional golf, we are learning from the lawsuit that Mickelson had been suspended on March 27th by the PGA Tour for encouraging players to join the breakaway tour. A month earlier on February 22nd, Mickelson issued a lengthy statement indicating he was stepping away from the game for an indefinite period and apologising for his comments directed at the PGA Tour and also his personal attack on Monahan, and this after the remarks were reported by SI magazine