Don’t look now but this week’s American Express championship has a pretty strong field that includes world no. 2 Scottie Scheffler and no. 4 Jon Rahm.
They’re not the only ones from the world’s top 10 who will show up starting Thursday at the Pete Dye Stadium Course in LaQuinta.
Patrick Cantlay (no. 5) and his joined-at-the-hip buddy Xander Schauffele (no. 6) will be there. Will Zalatoris, who looked good at the Tournament of Champions where he shot 20-under in his first event since his back injury last fall, joins them. Zalatoris is no. 7.
There will be no defending champion. Last year Hudson Swafford won but chose to defect last year to the LIV circus.
Other big names at LaQuinta include Tony Finau, Tom Kim and Cameron Young.
No Ruling In PGA Tour/LIV Discovery Motion:
Last Friday the hearing in U.S. District Court didn’t produce anything meaningful.
Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen declined to rule on two separate motions in the antitrust lawsuit that was filed against the PGA Tour last August, including a motion to compel the Public Investment Fund for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the fund’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, to submit to discovery.
Al-Rumayyan and the PIF, which is the primary funding source for LIV Golf, argued that U.S. courts don’t have jurisdiction over a foreign sovereign wealth fund and that the fund doesn’t have any control over the day-to-day operations of LIV Golf.
Attorneys for the Tour, however, claimed the “Shareholders’ Agreement” between the PIF and LIV Golf stipulates that the startup league “is required to obtain PIF’s consent” and that “PIF and Al-Rumayyan misstated their central role in running LIV and making decisions related to this lawsuit.”
Instead of ruling on the motion to compel, the court instructed attorneys for PIF and Al-Rumayyan to confirm they have the authority to negotiate the discovery dispute by next Wednesday. “If the parties to the motions agree to further meet and confer, they are to file a joint status report by (Thursday) as to next steps and a proposed schedule,” the judge ordered.