Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau among 11 LIV golfers to file antitrust lawsuit against PGA Tour

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Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeauThe PGA Tour has also suspended nine other golfers from their membership to LIV Golf. They filed an antitrust suit against the PGA Tour Wednesday.

Additionally, three of these golfers seek a temporary restraining or from a federal judge to allow them compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court of Northern California. The plaintiff sought relief that would allow the plaintiff to continue her legal proceedings. Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford Matt JonesTo participate in the three FedEx Cup playoff events. The first is next weeks FedEx St. Jude Championship.

The punishment these players would receive from not being able play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs was substantial and irreparable, the lawyers for the golfers stated in the lawsuit. A temporary order is needed to prevent irreparable harm that could ensue if they are not able

Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Peter Uihlein, Jason Kokrak, Pat Perez Abraham AncerThese are the other plaintiffs in the antitrust suit, which ESPN obtained a copy Wednesday.

Two players managers confirmed to ESPN last month, that the U.S. Department of Justice was involved in their case Opened an investigationInquiries into the PGA Tour’s handling of its members and whether it engaged in anticompetitive behaviour during its ongoing battle to LIV Golf.

The Tour has threatened to ban all players who participate in any LIV golf event for life as part its carefully orchestrated plan of defeating competition, the lawsuit states. It has reinforced these threats by imposing unprecedented suspensions upon players (including the Plaintiffs), that threaten irreparable damage to the players and their ability pursue their profession. It has threatened sponsors, vendors, agents, and other people to force players to give up on their opportunities to play in LIV golf events. It has also orchestrated a per se illegal group boycott with European Tour to deny LIV Golf acces to their members.

Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, sent Wednesdays memo to players to inform them that the tour will continue its defense of members who abide to the regulations written for and by the players.

Monahan wrote that We have been preparing for protection of our membership and contest the latest attempt to disrupt our Tour, and ESPN obtained a copy. Fundamentally these suspended players — who were now employees of the Saudi Golf League — have walked out of the Tour and now want to return in. They are now trying to use lawyers to get back in competition with our members in good standing, while the Saudi Golf League is on hiatus.

Its an attempt by the TOUR platform to promote themselves, and to make a profit on your efforts and benefits. To allow reentry to our events compromises our organization, our players and our fans. The lawsuit they filed expects us to believe that the opposite is true. We intend to prove our case strongly and clearly.

According to the LIV Golf members lawsuit against the PGA Tour, players from the three first LIV Golf tournaments — which include Mickelson, Swafford and Jones — will be facing almost two-year suspensions. This includes the March 31st 2024 deadline.

According to the lawsuit Mickelson was a six-time major champion and was originally suspended by PGA Tour for two month on March 22. This was due to Mickelson attempting to attract players to . [LIV Golf]. Mickelsons suspension was upheld by an appeals panel. Two months later, Mickelsons request for reinstatement was denied due to the fact that he had participated in the first LIV Golf event held in London.

According to the lawsuit, DeChambeau was suspended by the PGA Tour until March 31, 2023. He was sent notice that it was disciplining him for speaking to other Tour members regarding the positive experiences he had playing LIV Golf.

The FedEx Cup playoffs are a matter of contention for the three players who filed suit. They were suspended by the PGA Tour after competing in LIV Golf events that did not conflict with their event release. Gooch is ranked 20th among FedEx Cup points, Swafford 63rd, Jones 91st. The FedEx Cup playoffs are open to the top 125 points-ranked players.

In their motion, the attorneys for the players argued that the ban on them competing in the FedEx Cup playoffs would stop them from gaining Official World Golf Ranking points which would allow them exemption to the four major championships next spring.

The Tours conduct serves only one purpose: to cause harm to players, and to foreclose the entry to the first meaningful competitive threat that the Tour has faced in decades, says the lawsuit. Banning Plaintiffs, and other top-level professional golfers, from its own events degrades Tour’s strength of field. It also diminishes golf fans experience by preventing them seeing many top golfers participating in Tour events. The Tours only possible benefit from degrading its product in this way is the destruction or competition. In fact, the Tour has acknowledged its anticompetitive purpose by attacking and injuring the players.

The purses for each FedEx Cup playoffs leg, the FedEx St. Jude Championship or the BMW Championship, are $11.5 million. The season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club is Atlantas largest purse at $75 million, with $17.5million going to the winner.

More than two dozen players, which includes past major champions. Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick ReedDeChambeau Sergio Garcia, were suspended by the PGA Tour in order to compete in LIV events. Johnson and Garcia were among those who resigned as PGA Tour players.

The lawsuit alleges that the PGA Tour has forced major championship governing boards to comply with its demands. It stated that Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley threatened to disinvite The Masters players by joining LIV Golf, and that Ridley also personally instructed a few participants in 2022 Masters not play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series . Ridley also declined to meet Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf to discuss the new circuit’s business model.

Numerous of the players who were suspended already have exemptions to at least some of majors because they are past champions. Mickelson is 52 and has career exemptions at The Masters and PGA Championships. He also has an exemption at The Open and at the U.S. Open from 2026 to 60. DeChambeau, the winner of the 2020 U.S Open at Winged Foot is exempt from that event until 2030, as well as at the Masters, The Open, and PGA Championship until 2025.

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