Phil Mickelson and other LIV golfers drop antitrust suit against PGA Tour

Team Captain Phil Mickelson of Hy Flyers GC is seen on the 18th tee during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational – Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 17, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

Chris Trotman | LIV Golf | Getty Images

Phil Mickelson and three other LIV golfers have withdrawn from an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

Mickelson and 10 other LIV-affiliated players had filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour in August after the Tour suspended them for their participation in rival golf league LIV. The suit alleged that the PGA Tour suspensions were anti-competitive.

Jonathan Grella, a representative for LIV Golf, said the merits of the lawsuit still stand and LIV will continue to pursue the matter.

The PGA Tour declined to comment.

Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Ian Poulter also denied their claims against the PGA Tour, according to a filing Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

“With LIV’s involvement in these issues, the players’ rights will be protected, and I no longer believe it is necessary for me to be part of the proceedings,” Mickelson said in a statement provided by LIV Golf.

The other three actors also indicated that they were confident that LIV was adequately pursuing the antitrust claims.

The Department of Justice is also investigating the PGA Tour for possible violations of antitrust laws related to LIV Golf.

When the lawsuit was originally filed, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan upheld the decision to suspend LIV-affiliated players.

“Allowing reinstatement in our events compromises the TOUR and the competition, to the detriment of our organization, our players, our partners and our fans,” Monahan wrote in a note to Tour members.

LIV Golf has also come under scrutiny. The league is partly funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Mickelson has been criticized for his affiliation with the kingdom and has acknowledged the country’s human rights abuses.

Critics also called the league a “sportswashing” attempt to improve Saudi Arabia’s image.

Earlier this month, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman visited Capitol Hill to “educate members on LIV’s business model and counter the Tour’s anti-competitive efforts,” according to Grella.

Leave a Comment