An attorney has labelled it as 'a major victory for golf fans, and by extension LIV Golf' after the PGA Tour failed to get a second antitrust lawsuit dismissed in a Florida court.
The lawsuit against the PGA Tour and DP World Tour by American attorney Larry Klayman - meaning the likes of Jay Monahan, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy could be deposed and questioned about the accusations.
American attorney Larry Klayman filed a Second Amended Class Action Complaint in Palm Beach County, Florida, accusing both tours, the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and NBCs Golf Channel of allegedly “colluding and conspiring in violation of Florida’s antitrust and competition laws, to restrain trade in the golf industry.”
The suit says that golf consumers in Florida “have seen the quality of the product that they are paying for at PGA Tour events be diluted and destroyed by a deterioration of the talent level at PGA Tour events due to the exclusion of many of the top players in the world who have signed to LIV Golf.”
Klayman, who has filed this motion on behalf of his public interest foundation ‘Freedom Watch’ also represents Patrick Reed and had a $750m complaint against multiple golf media outlets dismissed by a judge last month.
The PGA Tour and LIV Golf are already embroiled in several legal battles, with LIV Golf filing an anti-trust suit in August after being banned from tournaments, while the PGA Tour responded with a lawsuit of its own accusing LIV Golf of interfering with its contracted players.
Klayman says in his court filings that "LIV Golf players are being denied world ranking points to eliminate them from playing in major and other tournaments, harming consumers in this respect as well."
And now Klayman says that after a court failed to dismiss his latest motion, he wants to see the likes of Monahan and possibly even Woods and McIlroy, have to testify under oath as part of the discovery process.
“This is the first time that the PGA Tour and Monahan have ‘taken it on the chin” and lost a motion to dismiss an antitrust complaint filed against them,” said Klayman via a statement released by Freedom Watch.
“What is significant is that this case will now proceed to discovery, and for the first time, the PGA Tour and its commissioner will be held accountable for anticompetitive conduct.
“The whole truth will now be exposed for all to see and hear. The Court’s ruling is thus a major victory for golf fans, and by extension LIV Golf, whose players have been defamed and trashed by the defendants with their captive purveyors of fake news in the golf media, such as NBC’s Golf Channel, the PGA Tour’s admitted incestuous partner. Let justice ring!”
The suit also names DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley alongside Monahan as breaking competition laws by conspiring to restrain trade.
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.