In yet another unexpected turn of events, the PGA Tour has thrown their first legal punch against LIV Golf by countersuing the breakaway league over contract interferences.
Per a 72-page lawsuit filed on Wednesday night, LIV Golf has been accused of tortiously interfering with PGA Tour contracts concerning players who defected to the rival series.
The lawsuit also rejects all claims of antitrust violations attached to the case filed against them in August. Only three LIV golfers – Bryson DeChambeau, Peter Uihlein and Matt Jones – are still included in the lawsuit after eight players withdrew their names.
The PGA Tour complaint reads: “A key component of LIV’s strategy has been to intentionally induce Tour members to breach their Tour agreements and play in LIV events while seeking to maintain their Tour memberships and play in marquee Tour events like The Players and the FedEx Cup Playoffs, so LIV can free ride off the Tour and its platform.
“LIV has openly sought to damage the Tour’s business relationships with its members by inducing them to breach their contractual requirements, even going so far as to pay members’ legal fees to make breaching their contracts with Tour more enticing.”
The counterpunch also flips the switch on LIV by claiming they the ones guilty of “restrictive” and “anticompetitive” behaviour given their regulations on league requests, contract requirements and social media restrictions.
“LIV has signed golfers to multi-year contracts containing obligations that are far more restrictive than anything in the regulations, including a prohibition on participation in conflicting events that, unlike the Tour’s conflicting event rules, does not allow for any request for release.”
Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?