Phil Mickelson and other LIV golfers accuse PGA Tour of illegal monopoly in lawsuit

Hall-of-fame golfers Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and nine other players who competed in the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Tour filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour on Wednesday over their suspension, the first in a legal battle. was the move that could define the rules. of competing in the professional sports circuit.

Three of the plaintiffs, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swayford and Matt Jones, also filed an application for a temporary restraining order, allowing them to compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs. court caseRetrieved by CBS Moneywatch.

The lawsuit stems from the PGA Tour that suspended some of golf’s top names from participating in its events after they participated in a tournament hosted by rival Tour LIV Golf, which offered record prize money.

Six players participating in LIV golf events are among the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings and will be eligible for the PGA Tour’s post-season start next week. But the PGA Tour’s player rules include a “Conflicting Events” clause that prohibits its members from competing in any golf event in North America held on the same week as the PGA Tour event or tournament.

The lawsuit notes that the PGA Tour hosts an event almost every week, which prevents players from competing in any non-PGA Tour events in North America.

conflicting event regulation

“The regulation of conflicting events thus invests the leader of the current Monopoly with unbridled discretion to prevent players from participating in any competitive events,” the lawsuit states.

The last two LIV golf events — with $25 million in prize money for 54 holes without any cuts — took place in Oregon and New Jersey.

The PGA Tour, for its part, issued a statement saying that the players in question “have walked away from the tour and now want to go back in. With the Saudi Golf League on hiatus, they are trying to use lawyers to help them compete.” We can make our way in. In good standing with our members.”

The PGA Tour also told its current members that a group of 11 flawed golfers are trying to use the “platform to promote themselves and freeride to their advantage.”

The lawsuit claims that the PGA Tour suspended Mickelson in March for allegedly recruiting players to LIV Golf. The PGA Tour rejected his application for reinstatement in June, as he had played in the first Saudi event held outside London.

The lawsuit by Mickelson and other golfers called the PGA Tour a monopoly enterprise with a “vice-grip on professional golf.” It alleges that the PGA Tour seeks to harm the plaintiff’s career because it “threatens” entry into the field of LIV golf.

LIV Golf spokeswoman Jane McNeil told CBS News in a statement Wednesday: “For players to challenge the PGA Tour’s anti-competitive rules and prove their rights as independent contractors where and when they choose We have the right to bring this action. Despite the PGA Tour’s efforts to stifle competition, we think golfers should be allowed to play golf.”

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