PGA Tour Files Motion to Keep LIV Golfers Out of Playoffs

The PGA Tour filed a motion in federal court Monday to bar three suspended members of the LIV Golf Invitational Series from participating in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford are trying “to have their cake and eat it too,” read the motion filed by PGA Tour attorneys in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The motion is a response to the three players’ request for a temporary restraining order that would allow them to compete in the playoffs, starting this week at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis.

A hearing to consider the LIV golfers’ request is scheduled for Tuesday in San Jose, Calif.

Typically, the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings are eligible for the first playoff event. Gooch ranks 20th in the standings while Jones is 65th and Swafford is 67th.

Can’t ‘Have Their Cake and Eat It’

Attorneys for the PGA Tour called the players’ request for relief “legally baseless.”

“Despite knowing full well that they would breach TOUR Regulations and be suspended for doing so, Plaintiffs have joined competing golf league LIV Golf, which has paid them tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed money supplied by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to procure their breaches,” the motion said, per ESPN. “[The] Plaintiffs now run into Court seeking a mandatory injunction to force their way into the TOUR’s season-ending FedExCup Playoffs, an action that would harm all TOUR members that follow the rules. The antitrust laws do not allow Plaintiffs to have their cake and eat it too.”

LIV Golf chairman Greg Norman issued a statement Monday repeating the rival tour’s assertion that players are free agents and should be allowed to compete on both circuits.

Greg Norman

“I believe players have the right to play when and where they choose so their talents can take them as far and high as possible,” Norman said. “I believe all players — whether they choose to play with LIV or the PGA Tour — understand and appreciate the purpose and importance of the players’ legal actions, across the globe. The PGA Tour is trying to cast this as ‘us’ against ‘them.’ The players know better.”

Gooch, Jones, Swafford, Phil Mickelson and seven other LIV golfers filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour last Wednesday to challenge their suspensions. –Field Level Media ()