LIV Golf have taken a hit in their antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, according to the Associated Press.
That is because a federal judge has denied a request by LIV Golf's attorneys to expand discovery to include communication with Augusta National members.
Last week LIV Golf issued subpoenas to five PGA Tour board members, including former commissioner Tim Finchem and "any member of Augusta National".
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That included former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, whom LIV accused of "attempting to influence" the U.S. Department of Justice not to investigate the PGA Tour over anticompetitive behaviour.
LIV attorneys also alleged that banking executive Warren Stephens was involved in apparently attempting to influence the DoJ.
According to court filings, Stephens was reportedly asked by "tour employees" to ask Republican Senator Tom Cotton to lobby against LIV.
On Monday, Susan van Keulen ruled against LIV.
She said the request to include the 10 Augusta National members and the Masters committee was "overly burdensome on the subpoenaed parties and not in proportion to the needs of litigation".
The judge said communication with the members would have gone beyond "agreed-upon targets".
Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley was previously accused by LIV of leaning on players and telling them not to join the breakaway tour.
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Ridley has been publicly scathing of LIV.
In December, he said the players who joined the tour had:
Last October, an expose written by The New Yorker alleged that LIV attempted to rent the Augusta National clubhouse during the 86th Masters to try and woo potential recruits.
A court filing written by LIV's attorneys read:
The judge wrote in her order:
PGA Tour attorneys previously argued that accusations relating to Augusta National were baseless.
That is because in December they announced that the LIV players who have already qualified for the 87th Masters would not be blocked from playing.
One of those includes Phil Mickelson, who will make his return to Augusta having skipped last year's major owing to the fallout from the remarks he made about joining LIV.
Mickelson, who is currently suspended from the PGA Tour, has recently said he is "at peace" if he never plays on the circuit again or is involved in the Ryder Cup.
Mickelson also had some predictions about the world ranking system.
Next page: Mickelson's wild social media activity