Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones had filed a
temporary restraining order so they could participate in the
FedexCup playoffs, which begin this week, after the PGA Tour
blocked competitors who left for the Saudi-backed venture from
playing in its tournaments. A hearing is set for Tuesday.
The PGA Tour accused the three plaintiffs of "fabricating an
emergency" by waiting two months to seek relief from the court.
"(They) have known since June 9 - and indeed earlier - that they
would violate the tour's regulations and forfeit their ability
to play in the FedExCup Playoffs in exchange for accepting
massive payments from LIV Golf," the PGA Tour said in a
The $255 million LIV series is being bankrolled by Saudi
Arabia's Public Investment Fund, with critics calling it a means
to improve the country's human rights record.
LIV Golf did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reuters was not immediately able to reach the individual players
The PGA Tour said in the court filing that golfers knowingly
violated its rules when they joined the LIV Golf circuit.
The PGA Tour last month left LIV golfers off its new playoffs
eligibility list, which omitted those who were suspended but
have not resigned from the tour.
Last month the U.S. Justice Department said it was investigating
whether the PGA Tour broke antitrust law in fighting off LIV
Eleven golfers who compete with LIV Golf, led by six-times major
winner Phil Mickelson, sued the tour last week for blocking
their participation in PGA tournaments, calling it "part of its
carefully orchestrated plan to defeat competition."
Elliot Peters, lead counsel for the PGA Tour in this dispute,
said in a statement: "For enormous sums of cash supplied by
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, plaintiffs willfully
breached their agreements with the PGA Tour.
"The players’ purported harm is entirely self-induced. We will
litigate this case vigorously to preserve the reputation of the
PGA Tour and protect the benefits it offers to players."
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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