FedExCup Playoffs: Scottie Scheffler watching ‘frustrating’ LIV lawsuit as postseason starts

·Writer
·4 min read

Nearly a dozen golfers on the LIV Golf Invitational Series filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour last week, something top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler is keeping a close eye on.

Scheffler, who also sits atop the FedExCup standings ahead of this week’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, called the lawsuit “frustrating” on Tuesday.

“I'm definitely curious to see what's going to happen,” Scheffler said. “It's one of those deals where those guys kind of made their decision to go join another tour and they broke the rules and regulations of our tour and now they're trying to sue us, which is definitely a bit frustrating.

“I heard that was going to happen and I know some guys aren't surprised to see it, but I definitely am surprised to see some guys now suing us. I'm interested. If they win, come out here and play, I mean, that's something that's up to the courts, I can't control what's going to happen in a court case.”

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The 11 LIV golfers who filed the antitrust lawsuit, led by Phil Mickelson, are challenging their suspensions from the PGA Tour — something the league handed down once they left for the controversial Saudi Arabian-backed league. Three golfers, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones, are also looking for a temporary restraining order so that they can play this week in the FedExCup Playoffs.

A ruling that could allow them to play could happen as early as Tuesday afternoon.

The Tour responded on Monday, and said that the LIV golfers in question “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." The Tour also said that the LIV golfers waited unnecessarily for “nearly two months” and are now “fabricating an ‘emergency’” in order to play this week.

Scheffler is far from alone in watching how the legal battle unfolds from TPC Southwind. He said that he and others still on the Tour have discussed the lawsuit plenty in the clubhouse, and they’re all waiting to see what happens.

“I think it's being discussed a decent amount just because it's a life-altering decision for people,” Scheffler said. “When you do go join another tour and you break the rules that we have out on our Tour, yeah, I understand we're independent contractors, but at the same time there's certain rules that you have to follow as being a member of an organization.

“We'll see what happens. All that stuff will shake out in due time.”

The LIV lawsuit comes right in the midst of Scheffler’s breakout season, which he could solidify with a FedExCup title in three weeks in Atlanta.

The 26-year-old picked up his first four career Tour wins this season, including his win at the Masters in April, and he’s got 16 top 25 finishes under his belt. Scheffler — who hasn’t played since his T21 finish at the British Open — is listed at +1,400 to win this week on BetMGM, just behind betting favorite Rory McIlroy.

Despite the noise and all of the questions that the lawsuit is bringing in the Tour’s postseason, Scheffler insists that he’s not bothered by it.

“It is what it is … for me, it’s not disappointing,” he said. “We’ve got some of the best players in the world here competing for the FedExCup and I'm looking forward to the challenge of competing against those guys. I'm fortunate to be in a position in a lead in the FedExCup and I want to stay there. I want to finish the year as No. 1. When I'm out here playing tournaments, it's pretty singularly focused on trying to accomplish that.”

Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler is back on Tour this week for the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, the first of three FedExCup Playoffs events. (David Cannon/Getty Images)