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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

PGA Tour scores win in legal battle with LIV Golf players

Jay Monahan talks with the media

March 13, 2020; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA; PGA commissioner Jay Monahan speaks to media after the cancellation of the 2020 edition of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. The tournament was cancelled at the conclusion of the first round due to the developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The PGA Tour scored a big win in a legal battle with some LIV Golf players who are seeking to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones are three golfers who would be eligible for the FedEx Cup Playoffs based on the points standings. But the three players are suspended from the PGA Tour because they joined the rival LIV Golf league and therefore blocked from participating in the playoffs.

The three players sought a legal restraining order to allow them to compete in the playoffs, which begin this week with the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tenn.

However, federal judge Beth Labson Freeman of the U.S. District Court of Northern California denied the golfers’ motion for a temporary restraining order. The golfers were arguing that they were being financially harmed by the PGA Tour’s decision.

Judge Freeman reasoned that the players’ contracts with LIV factored in wages lost from leaving the PGA Tour, and therefore the players are not being harmed by the Tour’s suspension.

The players’ restraining order motion is part of a greater antitrust lawsuit filed by 11 LIV Golf members against the PGA Tour.

Judge Freeman also indicated that the PGA Tour might not have a monopoly, and that even being a monopoly is not in itself illegal.

The greater legal battle between the two golf leagues is the antitrust suit. That won’t get sorted out for a while. But for now, the PGA Tour has taken the first round against LIV.

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