All-Out War in the Golf World: LIV Players Denied Place in PGA FedEx Cup Playoffs After Lawsuit Fails
Three LIV tour golf pros are extra frustrated after a judge upheld the right of the PGA to keep them
Three LIV tour golf pros are extra frustrated after a judge upheld the right of the PGA to keep them from playing in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Three LIV players, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, will lose their Cup standings after they and 7 others filed a lawsuit against the PGA to try to force them to allow the trio to play in the upcoming playoffs. But a federal judge granted the PGA's motion to deny the suit, so they won't be allowed in after all.
Judge Upholds PGA’s Right to Bar LIV Players
Things are a little tense in the golf world these days. The controversial LIV tour has divided people right down the middle.
But several LIV players were hoping to cross the aisle and make some peace – and perhaps win some big bucks – by joining the PGA tour on its last legs at the FedEx Cup playoffs.
PGA commissioner Jay Monahan opted not to let those who have joined the LIV tour play with the PGA anymore, due to the controversial nature of the funding for the LIV tour which we will get to in a minute.
10 LIV players filed suit to try to win their rights to play in the PGA once more, but a judge sided with the PGA.
CBS Sports reports, "Gooch (No. 20), Jones (No. 65) and Swafford (No. 67) will be unable 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, U.S. 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 a statement."
10 LIV golfers including the above three, Phil Mickelson and Bryson Chambeau filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA hoping to be let in, but the commission says it was their choice to leave and therefore are not eligible to return. The judge overseeing the lawsuit in this case says that the 10 complainants were unable to prove undue hardship or harm by being banned from the PGA and therefore were not eligible to force the PGA's hand and allow them back in.
Why is LIV so Controversial?
But why is it such a big deal – is the LIV tour really that bad?
The LIV golf tour is financed by the Public Investment Fund, backed by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. When it was first conceived in 2019, originally called the Premier Golf League, Monahan was clear that anyone joining the new tour would be banned from the PGA.
But the LIV was tempting, with big backers like Donald Trump and cohorts, and a decent prize path for winners.
Unfortunately, it has been greeted by much of the world's human rights experts as "sportswashing" of Saudi Arabia's recent human rights violations, including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and their involvement in September 11.
Saudi Arabia has been engaging in an attempt to clear up their global image by involving themselves in things exactly like the LIV tour; a feel-good, connect-with-the-people kind of event that will make them feel less suspicious or hostile. However, they do not seem to be making an real actionable policy changes or addressing crimes they've been accused of in the past – so it's a hollow effort and the LIV tour has been blasted as supporting criminal behaviors.
Donald Trump himself recently was blasted for his involvement with the LIV tour.