PGA Tour Hits Out At LIV Golf Players Over Lawsuit

PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan has sent a stinging response to the news that the organisation is being hit with legal action

Jay Monahan speaks to the media before the June 2022 Travelers Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has sent a strongly worded letter to its members denouncing the lawsuit that has been filed against the organisation by 11 LIV Golf players.

Earlier, it was reported that an antitrust lawsuit had been filed by players including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau challenging their suspensions from the PGA Tour. In addition, it said three of the players, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, were seeking a temporary restraining order to allow them to compete in the upcoming FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

The motion says: "The Tour's conduct serves no purpose other than to cause harm to players and foreclose the entry of the first meaningful competitive threat the Tour has faced in decades."

We have not had to wait long for Monahan’s response. In the letter he accuses the players of attempting to force their way back onto the Tour via lawyers. He said: “We have been preparing to protect our membership and contest this latest attempt to disrupt our Tour, and you should be confident in the legal merits of our position. Fundamentally, these suspended players - who are now Saudi Golf League employees - have walked away from the Tour and now want back in. With the Saudi Golf League on hiatus, they're trying to use lawyers to force their way into competition alongside our members in good standing.”

The tone of the letter hardly softens as it continues, with Monahan reserving some harsh words on what he perceives as the true motivation for the lawsuit. He states: “It's an attempt to use the Tour platform to promote themselves and to freeride on your benefits and efforts. To allow reentry into our events compromises the Tour and the competition, to the detriment of our organization, our players, our partners and our fans. The lawsuit they have filed somehow expects us to believe the opposite, which is why we intend to make our case clearly and vigorously. Let me be clear: we will continue to defend the members who abide by the regulations written by and for the players.”

The letter concludes with Monahan appealing to players to be vocal on the lawsuit. He states: “I also encourage you to speak out publicly on this issue, if you are so inclined. This is your Tour, built on the foundation that we work together for the good and growth of the organization... and then you reap the rewards. It seems your former colleagues have forgotten one important aspect of that equation.”

You can see the full letter, which is circulating on social media, here:

The letter sent from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to its members

(Image credit: Twitter/PGA Tour)

Speaking to the New York Post last month, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said the organisation has no intention of destroying the PGA Tour and that he’d be willing to negotiate with Monahan. However, considering the defiant tone of Monahan’s letter, it seems highly unlikely that will happen any time soon.

The LIV Golf Invitational Series continues in Boston on 2 September. Next year, there are plans to expand the eight-tournament Series into a 14-tournament $405m league.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.