On a day when The R&A banned two-time British Open champion Greg Norman from its celebration, which would seem to perfectly exhibit collusion, the Wall Street Journal reported that The Department of Justice has launched an anti-trust investigation of the PGA Tour.
According to the report, the DOJ’s antitrust division launched their investigation into the Ponte Vedra behemoth last month. They are reportedly seeking communications from players and executives to see if any emails or texts included anti-competitive violations, particularly related to threats of suspensions.
The DOJ is also looking closely into the Official World Golf Rankings system, which is run by the PGA Tour and golf’s four majors, among others. As we wrote last week, the Portland event had the strongest field in the entire world and received no points.
“This was not unexpected,” a PGA Tour spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. “We went through this in 1994 and we are confident in a similar outcome.”
A legal source emailed: “In 1994, communications were limited to land lines basically. Today we have the Internet, social media, messaging, texting, mobile phones, etc.
“So, the idea that this is old hat to the tour is absolutely laughable.”
The source added, “When the DOJ subpoenas the mobile devices and text messages of players and execs, let’s see if they still think it’s 1994.”
Also, as we reported in May, the LIV Golf players are also in the process of filing lawsuits against the PGA Tour.