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PGA Championship winner Thomas told the No Laying Up podcast back in June that if anyone sued the Tour “they’re suing me, they’re suing Rory, they’re suing Tiger”. Now that has happened, it could spell the end of the rebel players being politely welcomed whenever the two groups have come together.
“It hurts our Tour, and it hurts us,” Thomas told No Laying Up in June when asked about the LIV Tour. “I heard someone that brought up a good point saying that I’m sure at some point some kind of lawsuits will be going and if any of those guys that left to go play the other tour sue the Tour, they’re suing me, they’re suing Rory, they’re suing Tiger, they’re suing every single one of us that they’ve looked in the face, looked in the eyes and played rounds of golf with, played on cup teams with shared moments, whatever, with and they’re suing us.
“To me, that’s where a little bit of the betrayal and upsetting and sad feelings come from. They’re clearly doing what they feel is best for them so they’re going to go down that route in terms of lawsuits but when someone said it that way it really hit home, like damn, they are suing the Tour but they’re also doing it to me because I’m part of that.”
Justin Thomas on the @NoLayingUp podcast in June... pic.twitter.com/83OP6mbsImAugust 3, 2022
Those feelings were echoed by World No.15 Billy Horschel last month, who said that as a member of the PGA Tour he took comments made about the Tour, and commissioner Jay Monahan, personally.
He said last month: “I am one of 200+ members of the PGA Tour. I am the PGA Tour. Just as 200 other members are the PGA Tour. So when you're taking shots at the PGA Tour and taking shots at Jay Monahan, you're taking shots at us. To say that they don't listen is a complete farce, it really is."
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Earlier this week, a group of 11 LIV players filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour as golf’s power struggle came to a head. Monahan suspended LIV players from the PGA Tour in response to them taking part in the Saudi-backed series, but the group of 11, headed by Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, are questioning the legality of that suspension.
Additionally, three players - Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford - have requested temporary restraining orders against the PGA Tour, which would allow them to play in the FedEx playoffs that start next week. All three are well within the top 125 players on the FedEx standings, so officially have enough point to take part. However, last week the PGA Tour released the FedEx Playoffs and eligibility points list, which removed all players suspended players, and said it would be used to determine the field for the Playoffs.
Gooch, Jones and Swafford are hoping to be granted permission to play, at least while the legal case is looked at, given the Playoffs start next week, which may well be too soon for the legal proceedings to be resolved. A similar case last month saw Ian Poulter and three others added to the Scottish Open field at the last minute while their appeal into their suspension was looked at.
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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