LIV Golf PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson ponders withdrawing from PGA Tour lawsuit

By Matt Smith
Phil Mickelson, the original flag-bearer for LIV Golf, is mulling over whether to remain part of the group who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated on the sidelines of the fifth LIV Golf event of its inaugural season at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago, Mickelson said he had not decided if he will stay as part of the group of seven players who remain of the original 11 who filed the suit against the PGA Tour, now the LIV itself has added its name to it.

In a 105-page complaint filed in early August, LIV Golf players challenged their suspensions by the PGA tour for moving to the new circuit. The PGA Tour is adamant it has the legal authority to issue disciplinary measures. Three of those in the lawsuit — Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones — attempted to receive a temporary restraining order that would allow them to play the FedEx Cup Playoffs; however a US District Court denied the TRO motion.

“Now that LIV is involved, it’s not necessary for me to be involved,’’ Mickelson said. “I currently still am. I don’t know what I’m going to do, really.

“The only reason for me to stay in is (monetary) damages, which I don’t really want or need anything. I do think it’s important that the players have the right to play when and where they want, when and where they qualify for. And now that LIV is a part of it, that will be accomplished if and when they win.’’

Eleven players were originally part of the lawsuit, but Pat Perez, Carlos Ortiz, Abraham Ancer and Jason Kokrak have opted out. US District Judge Beth L Freeman set a tentative date for summary judgment for July 23, 2023, where the PGA Tour will likely seek to dismiss the case, with a trial date expected to begin on January 8, 2024.

Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Gooch, Jones, Swafford and Peter Uihlein are the remaining seven players’ name on the lawsuit, along with LIV Golf.

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