PGA Tour says gamers knew penalties of becoming a member of LIV Golf

The PGA Tour requested a federal choose in San Francisco to disclaim the enchantment of three suspended gamers who joined Saudi-backed LIV Golf and now need to compete within the tour’s profitable postseason, arguing the gamers knew the implications two months in the past.

Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford filed a short lived restraining order final week, separate from 10 gamers who filed an antitrust lawsuit towards the PGA Tour.

The listening to is scheduled for 1 p.m. PDT Tuesday in San Jose, California, two days earlier than the primary of three FedEx Cup playoff occasions within the chase for the $18 million prize.

The FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tennessee, has a $15 million purse, and the highest 70 gamers advance to the second postseason occasion in Wilmington, Delaware.

Gooch (No. 20), Jones (No. 65) and Swafford (No. 67) are amongst 9 gamers who’ve joined LIV Golf and completed the common season among the many prime 125 within the FedEx Cup standings. The different six who joined LIV Golf will not be asking to play within the tour’s postseason.

In a court docket submitting Monday to oppose the momentary restraining order, the tour argued antitrust legal guidelines don’t enable the three gamers “to have their cake and eat it, too.”

“Despite knowing full well that they would breach TOUR Regulations and be suspended for doing so, Plaintiffs have joined competing golf league LIV Golf, which has paid them tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed money supplied by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund,” the tour mentioned in its opposing movement.

The three gamers weren’t among the many highest-sought gamers for Greg Norman’s rival league, although they have been among the many preliminary group of gamers who signed with LIV Golf. Gooch was the one one among the many prime 50 on the earth, primarily from his solely PGA Tour win final November.

“Plaintiffs have waited nearly two months to seek relief from the Court, fabricating an ‘emergency’ they now maintain requires immediate action,” the submitting mentioned. “It doesn’t.”

The tour contends participant knew they might be ineligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs “when they accepted millions from LIV to breach their agreements” with the tour.

Players weren’t suspended till they really teed off in a LIV Golf occasion.

The LIV Golf occasions, with a 48-man discipline, include 54 holes and provide $25 million in complete prize cash for every occasion. Seventeen gamers have already got earned $1 million or extra in three or fewer occasions. Five extra occasions stay on this yr’s schedule, and LIV Golf already has introduced a 14-tournament schedule for 2023.

The subsequent LIV occasion doesn’t begin till after the PGA Tour’s season ends at East Lake in Atlanta with the FedEx Cup, which pays $18 million to the champion.

Even although LIV Golf gamers have been suspended, they continue to be eligible for the FedEx Cup bonus bundle. Anyone ending within the prime 125 will get $120,000. Those who end inside the highest 150, corresponding to Pat Perez and Paul Casey, would get $85,000.

Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia are amongst LIV Golf gamers who selected to resign their PGA Tour membership. Reed is taking part in two Asian Tour-International Series tournaments this month.

The lawsuit was filed Aug. 3 by 11 gamers. The supervisor for Carlos Ortiz informed The Associated Press that Ortiz is now not a part of the lawsuit, although it has not been mirrored in court docket paperwork but.

“Carlos does not want to be involved in any legal battles,” his supervisor, Carlos Rodriguez, mentioned in a textual content message. “He is thankful for the opportunity he had to play on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour the last few years.”

Ortiz in two LIV occasions has made practically $3.5 million, about 44% of his profession PGA Tour earnings from 160 tournaments.

The discipline for Memphis at present is at 122 gamers from the 125 who’re eligible and in good standing. Three gamers selected to not compete due to harm or scheduling.


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