Mickelson, DeChambeau among 11 pro golfers who filed suit against PGA Tour
The PGA suspended the golfers for defecting to a Saudi-backed tournament
Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are among 11 pro golfers hitting the PGA Tour with an antitrust lawsuit, after being suspended for playing in a rival tour.
The players are challenging the suspensions for participating in June in LIV Golf tour, a new competitor for the PGA Tour.
As a part of their contract, PGA Tour golfers are prohibited from participating in any outside events that take place in the same week as a PGA Tour sponsored event. Golfers may receive releases to compete in the conflicting events, but only up to three per year and requests may be denied.
LIV Golf, which is financed by Saudi Arabia, has been attempting to lure golfers away from the PGA Tour with record prize money of up to $25 million for the winner of their 54 hole events.
The complaint, filed Wednesday in a California District Court, alleges that the PGA Tour’s conflicting events regulation is "monopolistic" and that they feel "threatened" by the emergence of competition.
“As the Tour’s monopoly power has grown, it has employed its dominance to craft an arsenal of anticompetitive restraints to protect its long-standing monopoly,” reads the complaint.
Three of the golfers – Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones – also applied for a temporary restraining order, allowing them to compete in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, which begin next week.
“The purpose of this action is to strike down the PGA Tour’s anticompetitive rules and practices that prevent these independent-contractor golfers from playing when and where they choose,” the complaint reads.