September 26, 2022

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PGA Tour files motion in federal court to remove three LIV golfers from FedEx Cup playoffs

PGA Tour files motion in federal court to remove three LIV golfers from FedEx Cup playoffs

The PGA Tour has asked a federal judge to reject a temporary restraining order for three of its suspended members who have left to compete in the competing LIV Golf Invitational Series and are seeking to participate in the FedEx Cup playoffs, arguing that players cannot “have their cake and eat it too.”

The three arrested members, Taylor GotschAnd the Matt Jones And the Hudson Swafford, is seeking an exemption from a federal judge to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, beginning with the FedEx St. Jude this week in Memphis, Tennessee.

In an application filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, attorneys representing the PGA Tour described the players’ warning request as “legally groundless.” A hearing to consider the players’ application for a temporary restraining order is scheduled for Tuesday in San Jose, California.

“Despite knowing full well that they would be in breach of tour regulations and being suspended for doing so, the plaintiffs joined rival golf league LIV Golf, who paid them tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed money provided by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to purchase it,” she said. the movement. “[Temporary restraining order] The plaintiffs are now facing court for a mandatory injunction to force them to enter the season-ending FedExCup qualifiers in TOUR, an action that would harm all TOUR members who follow the rules. Antitrust laws don’t allow plaintiffs to have their cake and eat it either.”

In a statement Monday, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman He reiterated his circle’s belief that players are free agents and should not be forced to play exclusively in one round.

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“I think players have the right to play when and where they choose so that their talents can take them as far as possible,” Norman said. ‘I think all players – whether they choose to play with the LIV or the PGA Tour – understand and appreciate the purpose and importance of players’ due process, all over the world. The PGA Tour is trying to portray this as ‘us’ against them.’ The players know better.”

Three players and eight others among them Phil Mickelson And the Bryson DeShampooan antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour last week.

The golfers’ attorneys wrote in the lawsuit, “The penalty that would arise upon these players from their inability to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs is substantial and irreparable,” and a temporary restraining order is needed to prevent the irreparable damage that would and therefore were unable to participate. “.

PGA Tour attorneys noted that Gooch, Jones and Swafford had waited nearly two months to seek relief in court, “slandering an ’emergency’ they assert now requires immediate action.”

“It doesn’t happen,” wrote the movement’s tour lawyers. “Their disqualification for the TOUR events was foreseeable when they accepted millions from LIV for breaching their agreements with TOUR, knowing for a fact that they were suspended on June 9. The damage they now claim from their suspension is 100% economic and capable of monetary compensation.

“In fact, many other LIV players including four other plaintiffs in this case are aware that there is no contingent or irreparable damage; they have also qualified to play in FedExCup but have not asked the court for the extraordinary exemption required by this motion. The court should use its fair powers to address genuine emergencies, not those designed by parties who have willfully accepted multi-million dollar payments to put themselves in the situation in which they are.”

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The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings are eligible to compete in the FedEx St. Jude at TPC Southwind. Gooch is 20th in the standings, Jones is 65th, and Seaford is 67th.

“LIV is not a rational economic actor, he is just competing to start a round of golf,” the tour’s lawyers wrote in the proposal. “It is prepared to lose billions of dollars to benefit plaintiffs and golf for ‘sport washing’ of the Saudi government’s deplorable reputation for human rights abuses. If plaintiffs are allowed to breach their contracts at TOUR without consequences, the mutually beneficial structure of TOUR, the arrangement that has developed the sport and bolstered the interests of the sport. Golfers who return to it i got you And the Jack Nicklauswill collapse.”

There are currently 122 players on the field for the FedEx St. Jude. Three qualified players do not participate in the first leg of the qualifiers: Tommy Fleetwood (Personal), Daniel Berger (back injury) and Lanto Griffin (Back surgery).