Does the USGA and PGA of America have something to hide?!

The USGA and PGA of America have filed a joint motion opposing discovery of sealed records relating to the PGA Tour and LIV Golf's now settled litigation.

Does the USGA and PGA of America have something to hide?!

Would it be unreasonable to suggest the PGA of America and USGA have something to hide?

The two governing bodies have jointly filed a motion opposing discovery of sealed documents relating to the now settled litigation between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. 

Rex Hoggard of Golf Channel first reported news of the filing, which was lodged in U.S. District Court on 18 August. 

Hoggard reported:

"The PGA of America and USGA are on opposite sides of the MLR (roll back golf ball) debate but they filed a joint motion on Friday in US District Court (agreeing with a similar PGA Tour motion) opposing discovery of sealed records in the settled anti-trust case."

Shortly after the PGA Tour-PIF deal was announced on 6 June, both parties withdrew their legal claims. The Saudi PIF is LIV Golf's primary backer. 

Both sides did so with prejudice, which was significant because it meant neither the antitrust case nor the tour's countersuit can ever be reopened.

On 16 June, The New York Times filed a motion requesting documents associated with the lawsuits be unsealed. 

The Times argued the public's right to this information outweighed the tour's and PIF's claims that public disclosure of certain documents could cause 'competitive harm'.

Among the documents the publication wants to take a look at includes the 'Subscription and Shareholder Agreement' between LIV Golf and the PIF

The federal judge involved in the case, Beth Labson Freeman, has not ruled on The Times' motion yet, but in the most recent case management hearing - per Law 360 - she accused the paper's attorney of 'sandbagging' the PGA Tour and LIV Golf for uploading their arguments to unseal the docs late. 

Now it appears the PGA of America and USGA want to keep the documents hidden from the public. 

As Hoggard points out, it is interesting as both governing bodies are on opposite sides on the proposals to limit how far the golf ball will travel in elite competition from 2026. 


Does the USGA and PGA of America have something to hide?!

The PGA Tour have also stated their intentions not to support the proposed MLR

The original antitrust lawsuit was filed last August by 11 players who had been suspended by the tour for joining LIV Golf.

The tour won an early exchange when a judge ruled in favour of the circuit after a group of suspended players had requested a temporary restraining order to participate in the circuit's playoffs.

All of the LIV players - led by plaintiff in chief Phil Mickelson - eventually withdrew from the litigation, leaving only the tour and LIV Golf.

The tour filed a counterclaim against LIV and the PIF, claiming the fund interfered with its contracts with players.

The PIF had appealed to the Ninth Circuit, claiming sovereign immunity from U.S. jurisdiction. That appeal was been dismissed.

Thereafter followed the 'framework agreement' announcement, of which the organisations have until the end of the year to hash out a pathway forward. 

PIF governor and LIV mastermind Yasir Al-Rumayyan is still being pursued for his testimony about the 6 June 'framework agreement' by a US Senate committee. 

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