Judge allows PGA Tour to keep LIV Golfers out of 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs – CBS Sports

Judge allows PGA Tour to keep LIV Golfers out of 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs - CBS Sports

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a temporary restraining order allowing the PGA Tour to limit access to the 2022-2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs of three Saudi-backed LIV Golfers who filed a lawsuit hoping to participate in the postseason competition. Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford will not play in any of the three tournaments because the PGA Tour’s motion to deny was granted by US District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman.

“It appears to the court that the LIV contracts, negotiated by the players and executed between the parties, were based on the players’ calculation of what they would leave behind and the amount the players would need to monetize to offset those losses, “Judge Freeman said in her ruling. “I do agree with [the PGA Tour] that those losses were known to the players at the time and clearly monetized.”

Citing the LIV golfers’ inability to prove irreparable harm in their case, Judge Freeman added: “The evidence shows that it seems almost beyond doubt that they will earn more than they have earned and could reasonably expect to make in a reasonable amount of time under the PGA .”

The decision in a Northern District of California courtroom gives the PGA Tour its first clear victory over LIV Golf. The decision comes two days before play begins at the 2022 St. Jude Championship to begin the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Gooch (#20), Jones (#65) and Swafford (#67) will not be able to capitalize on their respective positions in the FedEx Cup standings; all on the inside track to not only play in this week’s event in Memphis but also next week’s BMW Championship where the top 70 players qualify. Gooch was in a strong position to finish inside the top 30, which would have put him into the Tour Championship where exemptions into next year’s Masters, US Open and The Open are provided.

“With today’s news, our players, fans and partners can now focus on what really matters over the next three weeks: the best players in the world competing in the FedExCup Playoffs,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in statement

A group of 10 LIV golfers, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau — initially 11 until Carlos Ortiz removed his name from the proceedings — filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court last week in hopes of being allowed to play again on the PGA Tour . The PGA Tour insisted that the golfers made a conscious decision to leave its membership when they chose to play for LIV. Therefore, those golfers were not eligible to play future PGA Tour events.

Judge Freeman agreed, citing the PGA Tour’s position that the golfers knew the consequences of their decision to play for LIV Golf.

“Despite knowing full well that they would violate Tour regulations and be suspended for doing so, the plaintiffs joined competing golf league LIV Golf, which paid them tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed money provided by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Arabia to provide them. their breaches,” the PGA Tour stated in its motion. “[Temporary restraining order] plaintiffs now face court seeking a mandatory injunction to force their way into the Tour’s season-ending FedEx Cup Playoffs, an action that would harm all Tour members who follow the rules. The antitrust laws do not allow plaintiffs to have their cake and eat it too.”

While the PGA Tour won this judgment, the legal battle between the leagues is expected to continue as the broader antitrust lawsuit has yet to be decided. The beginning of this legal saga goes back to June 9 when the PGA Tour rejected members who participated in the inaugural LIV Golf event in London. Some chose to give up their PGA Tour memberships, while others planned to fight for the ability to play in both leagues.

“They made a business decision to get money,” PGA Tour attorney Elliot Peters stated. “They’ve made — in the last two months — more money than they’ve ever made on the PGA Tour. They’ve already been paid to make up for what they’re complaining about here.”

LIV Golf members will now turn their attention to Boston for the league’s next event, scheduled for September 2-4.

LIV golfers will not be allowed to participate in the FedEx Cup Playoffs following a court ruling on Tuesday. Rick Gehman, Kyle Porter and Sia Nejad break it all down. Follow and listen to The First Cut further Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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