Masters boss told players NOT to play on LIV Golf Tour, claims lawsuit

LIV Golf players allege "Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley personally instructed a number of participants in the 2022 Masters not to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series."

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 4 Aug 2022
SHOCKING! Lawsuit claims Masters boss told players NOT to play on LIV Golf Tour

A number of shocking revelations have come out of the antitrust lawsuit filed by 11 PGA Tour players including Phil Mickelson, none bigger than Lefty being suspended back in March by the PGA Tour following his links with LIV Golf

But another surprising leak that has emerged from the complaint is that Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley allegedly "personally instructed a number of participants in the 2022 Masters not to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series."

It goes even further by saying "Augusta National representatives threatened to disinvite players from The Masters if they joined LIV Golf."

The complaint reveals how the PGA Tour was urging Augusta National officials to attend a PGA Tour Advisory Council meeting in May.

This was just after the launch of the new LIV Golf Tour had come to light, bankrolled by its Saudi billions and led by two-time Open champion Greg Norman

Augusta National reps did attend, according to the complaint, and "they informed the golfers in attendance that the PGA Tour and Augusta National had agreed to work together to address LIV Golf."

Ahead of The Masters earlier this April, Ridley offered something of a non-answer in his press conference in response to the emergence of a new Saudi golf league when saying "our mission is to always act in the best interest of the game in whatever form that may take."

He also said that Augusta National "did not disinvite Phil Mickelson" to The Masters. 

That's about as far as he went on the matter. 

Fast forward to this week and a complaint by Plaintiffs Phil Mickelson, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, Matt Jones, Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein has now been put forward to the PGA Tour. 

And Ridley now finds himself in hot water. 

"Augusta National, the promoter of The Masters, has taken multiple actions to indicate its alignment with the PGA Tour, thus seeding doubt among top professional golfers whether they would be banned from future Masters Tournaments," reads point 159 'The Masters' on the complaint.

"As an initial matter, the links between the PGA Tour and Augusta National run deep. The actions by Augusta National indicate that the PGA Tour has used these channels to pressure Augusta National to do its bidding.

"For example, in February, 2022 Augusta National representatives threatened to disinvite players from The Masters if they joined LIV Golf.

"In addition, Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley personally instructed a number of participants in the 2022 Masters not to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

"Plainly, these threats to top players served no beneficial purpose, as they would only serve to weaken the field in the Masters."

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has since responded to the LIV Golf players' complaint, and he has not taken too friendly to it

It remains to be seen whether or not LIV Golf players will be able to compete in the majors next season, as too whether or not LIV Golf tournaments will ever receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points to help players qualify for such major championships. 

READ THE FULL COMPLAINT VS PGA TOUR HERE

Next Page: PGA Tour player slams LIV Golf players for wanting to come back and play