Phil Mickelson is one of 11 plaintiffs participating in the new LIV Golf lawsuit against the PGA Tour. (Chris Trotman/LIV Golf/Getty Images)
PLAYERS & TEAM EARNINGS

LIV Golf Lawsuit: Which Players Are Suing the PGA Tour and Why?

After the PGA Tour banned several of its members for joining LIV Golf, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and nine others are suing the Tour on antitrust grounds.

The ongoing LIV Golf vs. PGA Tour saga continues, and this time, the whole mess has gone federal. On Wednesday, 11 golfers banned by the latter for participating in the former filed an antitrust lawsuit in the San Francisco-based US District Court of Northern California.

One of the golfers’ stated goals is to receive a temporary restraining order (TRO) to permit three players — Taylor Gooch, Matt Jones, and Hudson Swafford — to participate in the three end-of-season FedEx Cup Playoffs events, which begin Aug. 11 at TPC Southwind in Memphis (and include a $75 million prize money pool).

Notably, the US Department of Justice was reported to have begun an antitrust investigation into the PGA Tour’s behavior toward LIV Golf players by late July. Antitrust regulations are meant to prevent companies in competitive markets from depressing competition by forming monopolies.

As attorneys representing the 11 plaintiff golfers, whose ranks also include Phil Mickelson, wrote in the LIV Golf lawsuit:

“The punishment that would accrue to these players from not being able to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs is substantial and irreparable, and a temporary restraining order is needed to prevent the irreparable harm that would ensue were they not to be able to participate.”

As PGA Tour President Jay Monahan wrote Wednesday in response:

“We have been preparing to protect our membership and contest this latest attempt to disrupt our Tour, and you should be confident in the legal merits of our position. Fundamentally, these suspended players — who are now Saudi Golf League employees — have walked away from the Tour and now want back in. With the Saudi Golf League on haitus, they’re trying to use lawyers to force their way into competition alongside our members in good standing.”

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Check out the full list of players named as participants in the suit.

All 11 LIV Golf lawsuit participants suing the PGA Tour for antitrust
  • Abraham Ancer
  • Bryson DeChambeau
  • Talor Gooch
  • Matt Jones
  • Jason Kokrak
  • Phil Mickelson
  • Carlos Ortiz
  • Pat Perez
  • Ian Poulter
  • Hudson Swafford
  • Peter Uihlein

As of this moment amid all the fire and fury and recriminations and bluster and invocations of sportwashing and blood money, there’s really no telling where the LIV Golf lawsuit drama goes next.

But rest assured that no matter how deeply the Justice Department ultimately gets involved, the toothpaste isn’t going back into the tube. There’s too much money at stake. The game of golf is about to be dragged, perhaps kicking and screaming, into an entirely unprecedented era.

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