Talk of lawsuits between the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series and the PGA Tour has been just that. Until now.
As first reported in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, 11 LIV golfers are suing to challenge their suspensions from the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are among the 11 who are suing the Tour.
Three other LIV golfers, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, are part of the lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order from playing in the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The other golfers involved are Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter and Peter Uihlein.
The PGA Tour’s three-event postseason begins next week in Memphis. Gooch, Jones and Swafford qualified for the playoffs before leaving for LIV.
The claim, obtained by golf weekit states:
As the Tour’s monopoly power has grown, it has used its dominance to create an arsenal of anti-competitive restrictions to protect its long-standing monopoly. Now threatened by the entry of LIV Golf, Inc. (“LIV Golf”), and diametrically opposed to its founding mission, the Tour has ventured to harm the careers and livelihood of any golfer, including Plaintiffs Phil Mickelson, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, Matt Jones, Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein (“Plaintiffs”), who have the temerity to challenge the Tour and play in tournaments sponsored by the new competitor. The Tour has done so in an intentional and relentless effort to crush nascent competition before it threatens the Tour’s monopoly.
LIV Golf has now hosted three events, and before each one, a new group of players from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have joined the emerging circuit backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. And each time, the Tour has suspended them.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of a wide range of human rights abuses, including politically motivated killings, torture, enforced disappearances and inhumane treatment of prisoners. And members of the royal family and the Saudi government have been accused of involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist.
“I wish it weren’t. I think wherever you qualify, you have the credentials to play somewhere, you should be able to,” Ancer told Golfweek last week at the LIV Golf Invitational Series event at Trump National Bedminster. He also believes that he would play in the playoffs if he had the chance. “Everything changes from day to day, so I don’t even know what’s going on. I am committed to LIV, but I would like to play all over the world. We’ll see what happens.”
Matthew Wolff couldn’t give a definite answer on whether or not he would compete in the playoffs when asked on the Trump Bedminster, but said he would “absolutely” consider it.
The story originally appeared on GolfWeek