June 7, 2023

I am playing

Talk of lawsuits between the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series and the PGA Tour has been just that. So far.

As originally reported on Wall Street Journal On Wednesday, 11 LIV golfers are suing to challenge their PGA Tour suspension. The team includes Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau.

Three other LIV golfers — Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford — joined the lawsuit as they seek a temporary restraining order so they can play in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs.

The other golfers are Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter and Peter Uihlein.

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The lawsuit states:

As the Tour’s monopoly power has grown, it has used its dominance to create an arsenal of anti-competitive restrictions to protect its long-held monopoly. Now, threatened by the entry of LIV Golf, Inc. (“LIV Golf”) and diametrically opposed to its founding mission, the tour has dared to harm the careers and livelihoods of all players, including plaintiffs Phil Mickelson, Talor Gooch, Hudson. Swafford, Matt Jones, Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein (“Plaintiffs”), who have the audacity to defy the Tour and play in tournaments sponsored by the new participant. The Tour did so in a deliberate and relentless attempt to crush the nascent competition before it threatened the Tour’s monopoly.

LIV Golf has now staged three events and before each, a new group of PGA Tour and DP World Tour players have joined the pioneering circuit supported by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. Each time, the Tour suspended them.

Saudi Arabia has been accused of widespread human rights abuses, including politically motivated killings, torture, enforced disappearances and inhumane treatment of prisoners. And members of the Saudi royal family and government have been accused of involvement in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist.

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