Report: PGA Tour sues LIV Golf's wealthy backers in federal court

The PGA Tour's war with LIV Golf has escalated after they filed a federal civil lawsuit against the Saudis' Public Investment Fund and Yasir Al-Rumayyan. 

Ben Smith's picture
Fri, 21 Oct 2022
Report: PGA Tour sues LIV Golf's wealthy backers in federal court

The PGA Tour's war with LIV Golf has escalated once again as they have filed a federal civil lawsuit against Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, according to ESPN's Mark Schlabach. 

The publication report that court documents reveal a complaint was filed under seal in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan on 20 October. 

It is reported that the PGA Tour's attorneys have filed 50 exhibits along with a motion to compel [asking the court to make the opposing party take some action]. 

Related: I was misrepresented over major remarks, says LIV chief

ESPN believe the PGA Tour are attempting to obtain a motion to compel a federal judge that would require Al-Rumayyan - who is also the chairman of Premier League football club Newcastle United and sits on the board of directors of Saudi Arabia's vast wealth fund - to be deposed as part of another federal lawsuit in California involving the warring tours. 

This news comes after the PGA Tour countersued LIV Golf on 29 September, accusing the controversial enterprise of "interfering" with player contracts. 

It followed 11 players who had teed it up in LIV Golf events filing a federal antitrust lawsuit against the established, American tour. 

Court documents accused the PGA Tour of using "its monopoly" powers to squash competition. 

The chief plaintiff in that suit was Phil Mickelson, who joined LIV Golf for a reported $200m in June. The six-time major champion has since dropped out because LIV Golf added themselves to the suit. 

Only three players remain of the original 11 who brought action. Those are Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones and Peter Uihlein. 

The others who have backed out include Pat Perez, Abraham Ancer, Hudson Swafford, Ian Poulter, Talor Gooch, Jason Kokrak and Carlos Ortiz. 

Related: Nine players who went back on their word about LIV

The PGA Tour have suspended more than 30 players - including Mickelson - for competing in LIV Golf events without having been granted tournament releases. 

Mickelson has been accused of acting as a "recruiter" for LIV Golf. 

Embattled commissioner Monahan has been predicted by one PGA Tour pro to be leaving his post within the next two years. 

Before LIV Golf's penultimate event of their inaugural, $255m season in Jeddah, the aforementioned Mickelson suggested he believed LIV was winning golf's civil war and predicted he believed their American counterpart would "trend downwards" unless they engaged in talks to co-exist. 

Such a prospect seems unlikely at this point. 

Mickelson's comments were later pushed back on by Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. 

The PGA Tour also face the prospect of dealing with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation

It was reported in July they were investigating whether the PGA Tour had engaged in anticompetitive behaviour. 

The PGA Tour confirmed the inquiry to ESPN, claiming that it was "not unexpected". 

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