PGA Tour Files A Counterclaim Against LIV Golf, Alleging That The Circuit Tampered With Existing Contracts Of Tour Players

PGA: U.S. Open - Final Round
Jun 19, 2022; Brookline, Massachusetts, USA; A general view of a bucket of balls at the practice area during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

As the battle between PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf continues, a countersuit has reportedly been filed by PGA Tour against LIV Golf in response to the ongoing antitrust lawsuit against the Tour. LIV Golf is being accused of allegedly interfering with the contracts of PGA members by starting a campaign.

According to the suit, the campaign allegedly involved paying PGA Tour players “astronomical” amounts of money in order to entice them to breach their contracts with the circuit “in an effort to use the LIV Players and the game of golf to sportswash the recent history of Saudi atrocities and to further the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s Vision 2030 initiatives.” The Tour also claims that officials from LIV Golf had informed its players that agreements made with PGA Tour could not be enforced.

The motion filed by the Tour accuses LIV Golf CEO & Commissioner Greg Norman of sending a text to Sergio Garcia of Spain. The text reads, “They cannot ban you for one day let alone life. It is a shallow threat. Ask them to put in writing to you or any player. I bet they don’t. Happy for anyone to speak with our legal team to better understand they have no chance of enforcing.”

Four other LIV Golfers have reportedly withdrawn their names from the antitrust lawsuit against the Tour, including six-time major winner Phil Mickelson. The other three players include Ian Poulter, Hudson Swafford and Talor Gooch. Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez and Jason Kokrak had already withdrawn their names as plaintiffs in the suit. Only Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones, and Peter Uihlein are left as plaintiffs, along with LIV Golf.

“The Player Plaintiffs that have remained in the case — eight of the original eleven players have withdrawn their names from this lawsuit already — want only to enrich themselves in complete disregard of the promises they made to the Tour and its members when they joined the Tour,” the motion filed by the PGA said.

LIV Golf issued a statement, denying the allegations made in the Tour’s counterclaim and have expressed confidence in the legal system making the correct decision in favor of the circuit. “The Tour has made these counterclaims in a transparent effort to divert attention from their anti-competitive conduct, which LIV and the players detail in their 104-page complaint,” attorneys for LIV wrote.

ESPN has more HERE.

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