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Jay Monahan, PGA Tour Commissioner hit back at the antitrust lawsuit brought by eleven of its former members, calling it an attempt to “freeride” the “benefits and efforts” of current Tour members.
In an open letter to the Tour, Monahan pledged to “vigorously” fight the lawsuit filed by Phil Mickelson and 10 other LIV golfers who claim that the indefinite suspensions from the PGA Tour were intended to harm their careers.
The lawsuit was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
PHIL MICKELSON AND OTHER LIV GOLFERS FILING ANTITRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST PGA TOUR: REPORT
“We are preparing to protect our members and challenge this latest attempt to disrupt our tour, and you should be confident in the legal validity of our position,” Monahan said in the letter. “Basically these suspended players – who are now the Saudi Golf League – have walked away from the Tour and now want to come back. With the Saudi Golf League on hiatus, they are trying to use lawyers to force their way into the competition alongside our members in good standing.”
In addition to the complaint, three other golfers – Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones – have all applied for a temporary restraining order participate in the FedEx Cup qualifiers next week, arguing that they qualified before joining LIV Golf.
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“This is an attempt to use the Tour platform to promote ourselves and take advantage of your benefits and efforts. Allowing reintegration into our events includes the Tour and the competition, to the detriment of our organization, our players, our partners and our fans,” Monahan continued. “The lawsuit they filed kind of expects us to believe otherwise, which is why we intend to make our case clear and strong.”
“Let’s be clear: we will continue to defend members who follow the rules written by and for the players.”
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Monahan ended the letter by encouraging other tour members to “speak out publicly.”
“It’s your tour, built on the foundation that we work together for the good and growth of the organization…and then you reap the rewards. It seems that your former colleagues have forgotten an important aspect of this equation.”