LIV Golf Loses Bid To Delay Discovery Process In PGA Tour Lawsuit

Judge turns down LIV Golf bid to delay discovery process into Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Phil Mickelson and Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LIV Golf has failed in a bid to delay a discovery hearing in their antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, which now means lawyers of the two parties will now set about digging into each other in this bitter legal dispute.

A northern California U.S. District Court judge has denied the request to delay the discovery hearing by legal representatives of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and its governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who fund LIV Golf.

Lawyers for Al-Rumayyan and the PIF wanted Friday’s scheduled hearing to be put back to allow them more time to deal with what is a complicated process of discovery considering it’s against a foreign sovereign wealth fund.

“[The motions to compel] raise complex, sensitive, novel, and critically important issues of foreign sovereign immunity and international comity,” lawyers had said.

11 suspended PGA Tour players originally launched the action in August after they were banned for playing in LIV Golf, as the Tour said it violated its policies and playing without being released.

LIV Golf then joined the lawsuit, but by doing so gave the PGA Tour the chance to seek discovery from the PIF and question Al-Rumayyan.

That has not been greatly received by those from Saudi Arabia, who are looking to stop deny the Tour’s discovery request but have so far failed, and now face the prospect of Al-Rumayyan being deposed.

It’s yet another twist in the take that won’t be ending anytime soon, but an interesting one sin the momentum of matters as it looks like LIV Golf’s investors are on the back foot.

Greg Norman’s outfit are set to embark on their second season with the newly-named LIV Golf League consisting of 14 events across the world.

Neither side seems to be backing down or willing to enter into peace talks and they’ll likely continue to but heads unless some form of agreement can be found.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.