Top Links:

Get A Golf Handicap

UK Golf Guide

Golfshake Top 100s

Find Golf Travel Deals

Golf Competitions


Community Forum


Tee Times | Search | Reviews


Gear | Tour | Industry Insider


Video Library | Tuition Sections


Join | Log In | Help | Useful Links


LIV Golfers Will Not Be Welcomed Back With Open Arms

By: | Mon 08 Aug 2022

IT WAS always going to come to this, but the news that Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Ian Poulter are among 11 LIV Golf players who have filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour in order to challenge their suspensions simply confirms that professional golf is in the middle of a civil war in which there are unlikely to be any winners.

The PGA Tour has suspended all of its members who have signed up to the controversial Saudi-backed LIV series.

The group argues that the PGA Tour is trying to harm their careers, which is a bit rich when you consider the vast sums of money they have received to align themselves with LIV Golf.

Of course, the reason they are taking the PGA Tour to court is because they want to be able to pick and choose the tournaments in which they compete. But if the courts rule in their favour, the LIV rebels need to understand that they are not going to be welcomed back with open arms by the other players. This is a rift that has destroyed friendships and reputations.

The following Golf Channel video showcases the strength of feeling among those left on the PGA Tour.

Here was Davis Love III’s take on it last week.

The former Ryder Cup captain believes PGA Tour players could boycott 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.

"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'."

Meanwhile, the lawsuit does not mince its words either. It reads: "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 purpose of this action is to strike down the PGA Tour's anti-competitive rules and practices that prevent these independent-contractor golfers from playing when and where they choose."

In a letter responding to the lawsuit that was sent to PGA Tour members, commissioner Jay Monahan said the organisation refuses to back down.

"These suspended players - who are now Saudi Golf League employees - have walked away from the Tour and now want back in," he said.

"It's an attempt to use the Tour platform to promote themselves and to freeride on your benefits and efforts.

"To allow re-entry into our events compromises the Tour and the competition, to the detriment of our organisation, our players, our partners and our fans.

"The lawsuit they have filed somehow expects us to believe the opposite, which is why we intend to make our case clearly and vigorously."

The PGA Tour suspended those who joined up with the breakaway series in June, though those players were still able to compete at the subsequent US Open and last month's Open Championship.

Six-time major winner Mickelson and other major champions including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia were among those suspended.

Poulter was also suspended by the the European-based DP World Tour after they followed the PGA Tour's lead.

That move prompted 16 players to threaten legal action if the bans were upheld and Poulter was able to compete at the Scottish Open after his ban was lifted pending a full appeal.

Carlos Ortiz, Peter Uihlein, Jason Kokrak, Pat Perez, Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones are the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

Gooch, Swafford and Jones are requesting temporary relief to allow them to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Shouldn’t they have thought about before defecting?

Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: LIV Golf daily picks

Scroll to top