Federal judge denies LIV golfers bid for PGA Tour after season

A federal judge in California has ruled three golfers who participated in Saudi-backed LIV Golf will not be able to compete in the tournament. PGA Tour’s post-production.

Judge Beth Labson Freeman delivered her decision Tuesday afternoon in San Jose after attorneys let the parties talk for about an hour. Freeman said she does not consider golfers to face irreparable harm because of the large sums of money they are guaranteed for participating in LIV, a key issue in the case.

PGA Tour attorney Elliot Peters said: “There is simply no irreparable damage in this case.

The three suspended golfers are seeking a temporary ban, which Freeman has denied. Taylor Gooch, Matt Jonesand Hudson Swafford announced that they will be able to play where they want, having said in letters last month to the PGA, “I am a freelance agent and independent contractor.” They were among 10 players who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour last week – including Phil Mickelson.

Robert Walters, an antitrust litigator who represents golfers, notes that this is their chance at a major playoff, “really the Super Bowl of golf” because of the “significant earnings opportunity.” ” its. Freeman replied that the LIV Tour’s earnings potential was also huge and asked if players could wait until the end of the PGA Tour season to depart for the new tour.

Walters argues that there are only 48 positions and they will fill according to LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, Freeman said she agrees with that stance but golfers will make more financially when join LIV compared to what they can earn. PGA Tour.

“This is an extremely attractive financial opportunity but there is so much more to it,” says Walters, adding that the downside is that “players lose intangible benefits” such as the ability to participate in events. major tournaments as well as other earnings.

“This is the holy grail because everyone wants to compete and win the major championships, but it’s not just the pro,” Walters said. He noted that the PGA Tour inferred that these golfers would create a “stain” or “stink” on the tour’s image by playing.

The first of three FedEx Cup playoff events begins on Thursday as players compete for the top prize of $18 million – so it’s imperative Freeman dominates. The case could go to trial next year, with the possibility of a ruling in late September or early October, according to Peters.

Peters said lifting the suspension of golfers and allowing them to play would “change the status quo” for the PGA Tour and “give them a great platform” to promote the LIV tour while competing in an event. PGA.

“I think it’s a big deal,” he said. “…The Commissioner needs to be able to protect the tour. This is a very dire situation for the Tour.”

Gooch (no. 20), Jones (no. 65) and Swafford (no. 67) were among the nine players who entered LIV Golf and finished the regular season out of the 125 top of the FedEx Cup standings. The other six who have entered LIV Golf will not claim to play in the later stages of the tournament.

Associated Press report.

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