LIV golfers file antitrust complaint against PGA Tour

May 22, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson reacts on the first green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell – USA TODAY Sports

A group of LIV golfers are taking major action against the PGA Tour in a bid to make the FedEx Cup playoffs starting next week.

Eleven members of LIV Golf, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, filed an antitrust complaint against the PGA Tour on Wednesday, according to Louise Radnofsky and Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal. Three of the plaintiffs – Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones – are seeking a temporary restraining order from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that would allow them to participate in next week’s FedEx Cup event, which all three had qualified for prior to their defections to LIV.

The Tour is expected to respond by defending its practices and arguing that the plaintiffs face no real emergency, had known about the situation for some time, and would be costing other golfers opportunities by insisting on their participation.

This comes as no surprise, as LIV had indicated for some time that legal action was inevitable if the PGA Tour proceeded to bar LIV golfers from major events. Once the Tour acted on this threat by suspending all defectors, it was only a matter of time.

The controversial Saudi-backed LIV golf tour has attracted a number of top players, in part by offering significantly more money and more luxurious accommodations to those who join. The Tour responded by trying to prevent any defectors from participating in Tour events and established majors.

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