After 11 LIV Golf players sued the PGA Tour last week, with three of them seeking entry into the Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs that start this week, the Tour on Monday sent to the U.S. District Court of Northern California a 32-page response plus a separate seven-page example of what it calls mischaracterizations and mistruths presented by the LIV players.
The court is scheduled on Tuesday to hear a complaint filed on behalf of suspended PGA Tour players Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones that seeks a mandatory injunction against the PGA Tour’s suspension of these players from the playoffs. Those three seek to be allowed to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs that begin with this week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tennessee. Each of those players would have qualified for the playoffs based on points had they not been suspended.
Of particular interest in the Tour’s response is that it said 98 percent of its net profits are given to players, tournaments and charities. The Tour said that allowing suspended LIV golfers to compete for FedEx Cup Playoff purses would create financial harm to players who have remained committed to the Tour.
The Tour’s response Monday and Tuesday’s court hearing involve only the topic of allowing the three players into the FedEx Cup Playoffs and do not address the larger issue of Tour suspensions of LIV Golf players as a whole — any resolution in that case likely will take months or even years. Tuesday’s hearing likely will center on whether the three players will be irreparably harmed if they are not allowed to compete in the playoffs, meaning they should be allowed to play because any lost income from the playoffs would be irretrievably lost.
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Keker, Van Nest & Peters – lead counsel representing the PGA Tour in the dispute – filed the Tour’s response to the court, with highlights as selected on the Tour’s behalf listed below. Parts of the Tour’s filing were redacted as sent to media.