The antitrust lawsuit that was rumored two months ago has finally been filed, according to the Wall Street Journal.
On Wednesday in a California court, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, both natives of the Golden State, along with nine other LIV Golf league players, filed what’s being called an “historic” lawsuit against the PGA Tour, long accused of being a monopoly.
The players are challenging their suspensions by the tour after signing on with the breakaway circuit, led by golf icon Greg Norman.
The lawsuit was described by one Boston attorney as a “nuclear bomb.”
“It’s undoubtedly an historic lawsuit. They are essentially accusing the PGA Tour of using anti-competitive tactics to control the means of labor and production within the golf entertainment space,” said the lawyer, who lists several clients in the golf world.
“It’s over a hundred pages long but the allegations are plainly laid out, with a clear roadmap. It had to have hit Ponte Vedra [PGA Tour headquarters] like a nuclear bomb.”
Additionally, a temporary restraining order was filed by three players named in the suit — Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones — who want to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which gets underway next week in Memphis with the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind. All three secured enough points to qualify for the tour’s postseason.
“The purpose of this action is to strike down the PGA Tour’s anticompetitive rules and practices that prevent these independent-contractor golfers from playing when and where they choose,” the complaint states.
The complaint contends that by not allowing these players to compete in the playoffs, it “cripples their chances of qualifying for both the Majors and the Tour’s premier invitationals in future seasons.”
It further alleges: “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.”
Golf Digest was the first to obtain the complaint and application for a temporary restraining order. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, according to the far-left golf publication.
Others named in the lawsuit include Ian Poulter, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein.
Pro Golf Weekly reached out to the tour seeking comment and they pointed back to Commissioner Jay Monahan’s widely-mocked memo that was released today.
In the memo, Monahan twice wrongly referred to the LIV Golf series as the Saudi Golf League, while falsely insinuating that the players had quit the LIV Golf league and “wanted back in.”
“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 (sic) employees—have walked away from the tour and now want back in.
“With the Saudi Golf League (sic) on hiatus, they’re trying to use lawyers to force their way into competition alongside our members in good standing.”