Home NEWS PGA Tour responds and countersues LIV Golf in newest legal action

PGA Tour responds and countersues LIV Golf in newest legal action

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In the continuous legal conflict between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, another lawsuit has been filed today.

LIV Golf and three of its players are now suing the PGA Tour for antitrust crimes, and on Wednesday night the Tour replied to and countersued the upstart circuit — managed by Greg Norman and sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – with some claims of its own.

The Tour’s countersuit contends that LIV is using players,  “and the game of golf to sportswash the recent history of Saudi atrocities and to further the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s Vision 2030 initiatives.” despite LIV’s claims that the Tour abuses its monopoly power and improperly suspends players.

In the countersuit:
“Indeed, a key component of LIV’s strategy has been to intentionally induce Tour members to breach their Tour agreements and play in LIV events while seeking to maintain their Tour memberships and play in marquee Tour events like The Players Championship and the FedEx Cup Playoffs, so LIV can free ride off the Tour and its platform.”

“LIV has openly sought to damage the Tour’s business relationships with its members by inducing them to breach their contractual requirements, even going so far as to pay members’ legal fees to make breaching their contracts with Tour more enticing.”

Before Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Hudson Swafford, Talor Gooch, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, and Jason Kokrak asked to be removed from the lawsuit on Tuesday, along with those who had already done so, there were eleven LIV players who were a part of the original Aug. 3 lawsuit. Now, only three players are left: Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones, and Peter Uihlein.

“The Player Plaintiffs that have remained in the case,” the argument reads, “want only to enrich themselves in complete disregard of the promises they made to the Tour and its members when they joined the Tour.”

“LIV, by its own admission, has succeeded in attracting numerous elite professional golfers to participate in its new league. LIV has held numerous events with full fields and has announced a full season for 2023. Both LIV and the Player Plaintiffs baked the financial cost of their suspensions into LIV’s exorbitant signing bonuses, making the Player Plaintiffs whole,” the document states. “Moreover, while LIV and the Player Plaintiffs challenge the Tour’s media rights and conflicting events policies as anticompetitive, LIV imposes similar – indeed far more restrictive – conditions on its players, and the Player Plaintiffs have agreed to them.”

“This case is not about unfair competition – if anyone is competing unfairly, it is LIV, not the Tour. Instead, it is a cynical effort to avoid competition and to free ride off of the Tour’s investment in the development of professional golf. Plaintiffs’ assertions are unfounded and utterly without legal merit.”

The Tour is being looked at by the US Department of Justice for its LIV-fighting efforts.

Original article posted on golfweek.com

Photo credit: pgatour.com

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