A group of 11 LIV Golf players led by Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau have filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
With the FedEx Cup Playoffs set to begin next week, the LIV golfers are trying to seek a court order to lift the PGA’s “anti-competitive” suspension.
The FedEx Cup boasts the biggest purse and payout of any PGA Tour event.
The 2022 FedEx Cup Cup will feature a $75 million purse with the winner earning a smooth $18 million, which is not a not a standard-sized payout, according to the PGA Tour’s prize money distribution chart.
However, LIV Golf players that played on the tour this year will not be eligible for the playoff format.
That’s because the PGA Tour created a new FedEx Cup points list in order to keep LIV Golf players out.
According to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan “that suspended members do not negatively impact other players’ tournament eligibility, positioning on the priority rankings or eligibility to compete in the FedExCup playoffs.”
PGA Tour Commission Issues Statement on Suspended LIV Golf Players
In June, the PGA Tour announced that any player taking part of the LIV Golf series would be suspended.
LIV Golf players claim that the PGA Tour is trying to orchestrate a plan to defeat the competition by threatening them with lifetime bans, suspensions, and pushing sponsors away from LIV Golf Events.
The PGA Tour commissioner has responded to the suspension:
“These suspended players – who are now Saudi Golf League employees – have walked away from the TOUR and now want back in,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan wrote Wednesday in a memo to members. “To allow reentry into our events compromises the TOUR and the competition, to the detriment of our organization, our players, our partners and our fans.”
PGA Tour Faces Antitrust Lawsuit
On Wednesday, eleven professional golfers from LIV Golf filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
The players have been suspended from all PGA Tour events over their involvement with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Now, the golfers have filed a complaint with the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California.
Led by Mickelson and DeChambeau, the lawsuit claims that the PGA’s restrictive policies are an attempt to stop more professional golfers from joining LIV Golf, which ultimately limits its ability to compete with the Tour.
Other golfers like Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones are requesting for a temporary restraining order against the PGA Tour, which would allow them to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs that begin next week.
Phil Mickelson Faces Two-Year Ban
While Mickelson was suspended for multiple reasons, it looks like he won’t be able to apply to be reinstated to the PGA Tour until March 2024.
Mickelson was originally suspended for allegedly recruiting players to the LIV Golf series.
His original appeal to the suspension was denied but Mickelson’s involvement is just one part of the detailed lawsuit against the PGA Tour.