Sep 29, 2022 - Sports

PGA Tour files countersuit against LIV Golf

Illustration of two golf clubs crossed in front of a large fire

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The PGA Tour filed a countersuit against LIV Golf on Wednesday, accusing the Saudi Arabian-financed rival league of getting top players to breach contracts, per ESPN.

Driving the news: The counterclaim is a part of the PGA Tour's response to LIV Golf's federal lawsuit filed in California, in which the latter accused the PGA Tour of illegally suspending players for competing in its tournaments.

  • Eight of the 11 golfers who sued the PGA Tour, including star Phil Mickelson, have since asked to be removed from the suit, AP reports.

Details: The PGA Tour claims LIV Golf is asking the court to invalidate its rules while inducing players to breach their contracts with "astronomical sums of money."

  • The three players who are still part of the antitrust lawsuit — Talor Gooch, Peter Uihlein and Matt Jones — "want to enrich themselves in complete disregard of the promises they made to the tour," the PGA said.
  • The tour goes on to claim that LIV Golf is using the game of golf to "sportswash the recent history of Saudi atrocities and to further the Saudi Public Investment Fund's Vision 2030 initiatives," per ESPN.
  • "This case is not about unfair competition — if anyone is competing unfairly, it is LIV, not the tour. Instead, it is a cynical effort to avoid competition and to freeride off of the tour’s investment in the development of professional golf," Wednesday's filing said per AP.

The big picture: This is the latest flare-up between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, two rival leagues preparing for a years-long legal battle over the future of professional golf, Axios' Herb Scribner writes.

Go deeper: The PGA Tour is ready for battle with LIV

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