PGA Tour make demand in LIV Golf battle days after Greg Norman's call for peace

Attorneys for the PGA Tour have asked a federal judge to delay legal proceedings after their latest motion against LIV Golf.

Ben Smith's picture
Fri, 21 Apr 2023
PGA Tour make demand in LIV Golf battle days after Greg Norman's call for peace

A crucial debate in the PGA Tour's legal battle with LIV Golf could trigger a lengthy postponement. 

The judge overseeing the proceedings has already agreed to postpone the original trial date until 17 May 2024. 

But the debate about LIV's backers - the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia - could take years to resolve. 

The latest update came on Thursday when attorneys for the PGA Tour filed a motion demanding the PIF and its governor and mastermind behind LIV - Yasir Al-Rumayyan - comply with their pretrial discovery orders and appear in New York for a deposition. 

Should they not comply, they asked the judge overseeing the litigation to postpone all discovery in the case pending PIF and Al-Rumayyan's appeal. 

This appeal could take years to resolve. 

Related: Greg Norman teases more LIV Golf signings

It was previously argued that PIF and Al-Rumayyan shouldn't have to comply with subpoenas in the U.S. as they are acting officials from a foreign government. 

This argument has placed further scrutiny on the takeover of Premier League football club Newcastle United, of which Al-Rumayyan is the chairman. 

The judge previously rejected the argument that PIF and Al-Rumayyan were merely just investors in LIV Golf. 

This week attorneys for the PGA Tour insisted it would be:

"Unjust and asymmetrical for attorneys representing LIV, PIF and Al-Rumayyan to conduct depositions of PGA Tour officials and prepare expert reports while the PGA Tour can't question LIV's founders, owners, most senior decision makers, and … the true moving force behind this litigation." 

This dispute started last June after the PGA Tour suspended 17 players for competing in LIV Golf events without releases. 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wrote in a memo to membership:

"These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons. But they can't demand the same PGA Tour membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform as you. That expectation disrespects you, our fans and our partners."

As a consequence, the suspended players filed an antitrust lawsuit to challenge their suspensions.

LIV Golf joined the action as a plaintiff, prompting all but three LIV players to withdraw from the litigation. The PGA Tour countersued

Delays to proceedings means that players would have to continue picking between the two tours. 

Take me to more news!