PGA Tour Under Investigation For Breaching Antitrust Laws In LIV Golf Battle

A PGA Tour spokesperson confirmed the news that first appeared in the Wall Street Journal

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan at the Scottish Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Wall Street Journal has reported (opens in new tab) that the PGA Tour is being investigated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour against LIV Golf

It's the latest twist in an ongoing battle between golf's traditional powerhouses and the up-start Saudi-backed venture fronted by former World No. 1 Greg Norman that launched last month at the Centurion Club following months of controversy. 

The report goes on to say that "players’ agents have received inquiries from the DOJ’s antitrust division involving both the PGA Tour’s bylaws governing players’ participation in other golf events, and the PGA Tour’s actions in recent months relating to LIV Golf, according to a person familiar with those inquiries."

In response, a PGA Tour spokesperson was quoted as saying: "This was not unexpected. We went through this in 1994 and we are confident in a similar outcome."

The PGA Tour acted swiftly when play commenced at the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational, suspending the 17 members who teed it up in Hemel Hempstead without a release when the Canadian Open was on at the same time. 

In a memo, Tour commissioner Jay Monahan also confirmed the same penalty would be handed out to anyone teeing it up in future LIV Golf events. However, that didn't didn't deter the likes of Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau from committing to the second $25 million event in Portland, Oregon.

Per the PGA Tour Player Handbook and Tournament Regulations, the commissioner, the tour's policy board and the appeals committee can ban members for violating its regulations, one of which relates to playing in conflicting events. 

Players meeting the 15-event minimum are eligible for three conflicting-event releases but these are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and can be denied.

Bosses at the both PGA Tour and LIV Golf have previously expressed their belief that they have the upper hand in the inevitable legal battles to come. In an explosive open letter published in February, Norman accused the PGA Tour of engaging in "bullying and threatening" behaviour, before adding: "Simply put, you can't ban players for playing golf."

The DP World Tour went down the same route in banning members who played in the first LIV event from the Genesis Scottish Open, the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship. Players were also fined £100,000. 

However, the International Dispute Resolution Centre by Sports Resolutions, an independent legal body, overturned that decision, granting the likes of Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood a temporary stay pending a full review.

Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.


Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.


As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.


What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1