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Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Ian Poulter among 11 LIV Golf Invitational Series players filing lawsuit against PGA Tour


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Players discuss the 11 LIV golfers who have filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour

Players discuss the 11 LIV golfers who have filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter are among 11 LIV Golf players who have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour to challenge their suspensions.

The group includes three players – Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones – who are seeking a temporary restraining order to allow them to compete in the FedEx Cup play-offs, which get under way next week.

The complaint and application for a temporary restraining order were filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein are the other players putting their names to the suit, arguing the PGA Tour is trying to hurt their careers.

Phil Mickelson and 10 other golfers have filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson and 10 other golfers have filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour

“The Tour’s conduct serves no purpose other than to cause harm to players and foreclose the entry of the first meaningful competitive threat the Tour has faced in decades,” the lawsuit states.

“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.”

Bryson DeChambeau is another of the players included on the lawsuit

Bryson DeChambeau is another of the players included on the lawsuit

The PA news agency has contacted the PGA Tour for comment.

Poulter was one of three DP World Tour members who successfully gained a temporary stay of their suspensions from July’s Scottish Open, pending determination of their substantive appeals.

The players had also been fined £100,000 for competing in the first LIV Golf event in June after being turned down for the required releases.

USA Presidents Cup captain Davis Love III has hinted at a major player boycott if LIV golfers are able to return to the PGA Tour

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USA Presidents Cup captain Davis Love III has hinted at a major player boycott if LIV golfers are able to return to the PGA Tour

USA Presidents Cup captain Davis Love III has hinted at a major player boycott if LIV golfers are able to return to the PGA Tour

Speaking on Tuesday, former Ryder Cup captain Davis Love said PGA Tour players could take the “nuclear option” of boycotting events if the LIV rebels successfully challenge their suspensions.

“If the LIV guys sue and are allowed to play on the PGA Tour, the players are enough fed up with it,” Love said in a press conference ahead of the Wyndham Championship.

“We understand that we make the rules on the PGA Tour and the commissioner is enforcing our rules and we don’t want those guys playing, coming and cherry-picking our tournaments.

“We hold all the cards. We say to the FTC [Federal Trade Commission] and to Washington, ‘No, we support the rules. We don’t want those guys playing. We don’t care what the courts say’.

“The nuclear option is to say ‘Fine, if they have to play in our events we just won’t play’.”

Being suspended by the PGA Tour means players such as Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed cannot represent the United States in September’s Presidents Cup, when Love will captain the side.

“I told the players that I’ve talked to that have gone or thinking about going, it’s your decision and you do what’s right for you, but understand [the] consequences,” Love added.

“I tried to sound like my dad and I probably wasn’t very good at it. I didn’t argue. I said you can be Tiger Woods or you can be banned from the game, take your pick.

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood say they are unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status

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Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood say they are unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood say they are unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status

“But understanding the consequences, you signed up for these rules. I had to commit by last Friday or I don’t get to play this week. I have to play 15 tournaments or I don’t get to vote and I don’t get my retirement money. You have rules that you have to adhere to.

“I said you’re fixing to break a rule that’s a big rule and you’re going to get penalised for it.

“And Jay’s (Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner) been saying it for a year and some of them understood that, some of them said it’s not going to happen, and some of them just flat out lied, [saying] ‘I’m not doing this, I’m not doing that’.”

Love admits he was “dead wrong” to say six months ago LIV was not going to happen and that Phil Mickelson would be the only player to jump ship, but added: “I don’t know what’s going to happen from here on out, but I know it’s going to be a fight and the players are getting more and more unified against it.”

Norman: Tiger rejected $700-800m to join LIV Golf

Tiger Woods turned down a sum in the region of $700-800m (£572-654m) to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, according to the breakaway circuit’s chief executive Greg Norman.

Norman told Fox News the offer was made before the Australian was named chief of the controversial series, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Tiger Woods has been critical of the breakaway LIV Golf Series

Tiger Woods has been critical of the breakaway LIV Golf Series

The interview, conducted last weekend during the LIV Golf event in Bedminster, NJ, aired Monday night on “Tucker Carlson Tonight”.

“That number was out there before I became CEO,” Norman said of the dollar figure presented to Woods. “Look, Tiger is a needle-mover, right? So, of course you’re got to look at the best of the best. They had originally approached Tiger before I became CEO. That number is somewhere in that neighbourhood.”

Woods has maintained his allegiance to the PGA Tour over the new circuit.

Speaking at the Open Championship in Scotland last month, Woods said, “The players who have chosen to go to LIV and to play there, I disagree with it. I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.

“You’re just getting paid a lot of money up front and playing a few events and playing 54 holes. They’re playing blaring music and have all these atmospheres that are different.

“I just don’t see how that move is positive in the long term for a lot of these players, especially if the LIV organisation doesn’t get world-ranking points and the major championships change their criteria for entering the events.”

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