PGA Tour describe LIV Golf trial date "untenable", accuse Mickelson of trolling

In a filing on Sunday, the PGA Tour described the trial date of January 8 2024, and the discovery schedule as "untenable."

Matt Chivers's picture
Mon, 6 Feb 2023
PGA Tour request delay to LIV Golf antitrust trial date

The PGA Tour wants the trial date of its antitrust legal contest against LIV Golf delayed as they continue to push the Public Investment Fund and Yasir Al-Rumayyan to produce discovery evidence.

In a filing submitted on Sunday, the Tour's lawyers said that the "current trial date and discovery schedule are untenable." The trial date is set for January 8, 2024.

The Tour also stated that the PIF and its governor Al-Rumayyan "continue to resist compliance with the Tour’s subpoenas for documents and testimony."

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"It could take several months (or longer) before PIF and Mr. Al-Rumayyan even begin producing discovery or choose to face the consequences of their noncompliance," the Tour said in the filing.

"For these reasons, the court should vacate the trial date and set a new schedule for discovery with sufficient runway to allow for these pending issues to be resolved."

In the latest court filings, PGA Tour attorneys have also accused Phil Mickelson of not producing documents they have requested as part of the discovery process. 

They argue Mickelson has produced fewer than 600 documents, some of which they actually sent to him and junk files with no content. 

"The Tour's misguided effort to delay the trial schedule based on its efforts to take discovery from non-parties PIF, a sovereign entity, and Mr. Al-Rumayyan, a minister-level public official, should be rejected," LIV also wrote in the filing.

"The Tour was aware of these issues when it agreed to the present case schedule less than a month ago. That third-party discovery was not a basis to continue the trial date less than a month ago, and it is not a basis to do so now."

"Mr Mickelson has produced fewer than 600 documents..."

LIV responded in the same filing that the Tour wants to "shield itself from the trial as long as possible." The Tour has also accused six-time major champion Phil Mickelson of failing to produce "core responsive documents" such as his contract negotiation with LIV Golf.

"To date, Mr. Mickelson has produced fewer than 600 documents, some of which are materials the Tour sent to Mr. Mickelson, copies of the complaint and discovery requests, and junk files with no content," the Tour said.

At the end of January, the Tour asked that the PIF and Al-Rumayyan could be added to their countersuit, emphasising the governor's role in the emergence of LIV Golf and its ability to attract players with big-money contract fees.

Earlier in January, the judge from a District Court in California denied a plea from LIV Golf to delay the discovery process. This was initially seen as a step closer to the Tour deposing Al-Rumayyan.

The court is undecided on requiring Al-Rumayyan to give testimony. The Tour has previously described PIF and Al-Rumayyan as "the wizard behind the curtain."