The Barbarians are once again storming the gates.
This time, they’re armed with barristers and money.
They are backed by the deep-pocketed Infidels (aka The Saudis) and their highly-compensated barristers (lawyers).
Now we know what LIV really stands for — “Litigation Is Vile!”
Davis Love III knew it was coming and said so last week. The PGA Tour knew it was coming so without a doubt, The Sheriff Of Nottingham (aka PGA Tour commish Jay Monahan) has his army of barristers armed and ready to battle the forces of The Lamest Commissioner In All The Land (aka Greg Norman, aka The Great White Snark, aka The Great White Fish Stick).
Phil (I used to be really good) Mickelson, who is now averaging around 75 per LIV round, is the ringleader of the defectors and he is one of those whose named appear on the complaint (modern legal-speak for lawsuit). There are 10 others joining him, the complaint filed against the PGA Tour cites violation of anti-trust laws.
So now comes the San Francisco law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher have filed the complaint in what The Lamest Commissioner In The Land (aka Great White Fish Stick) and his Saudi-compensated barristers deem the anti-trust hating confines of northern California, where liberals run free and wild.
Here’s where it gets pretty funny. Seems The Lamest Commissioner and his barristers thought it was a splendid idea to pull the Masters, PGA of America, USGA and R&A into their efforts to enrich Norman’s vendetta against the PGA Tour.
These legal shenanigans come on the heels of that sparsely-attended, Trump-rally fueling exhibition series event last week at Bedminster.
Basically, LIV is now trying to channel the iron-fist authoritarian regime of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS to his friends), and hit the PGA Tour with some good old Saudi strong-arming. (Do it our way or we’ll kill you!).
This lawsuit pretty much shows what the LIV is all about and none of it has to do with the good of the game or growing the game.
In addition to Mastermind Mickelson, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, Matt Jones, Bryson DeChambeau, Abe Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein are telling the court they don’t want to be suspended from the PGA Tour after jumping ship and getting those huge money advances.
Not sure anyone misses any of those guys.
The complaint paints a detailed picture, portraying the Defectors as victims with nothing left to do but sue their peers on the PGA Tour — forget about those big checks from the Saudis. No one ever accused Mickelson and the rest of the Defectors as being examples of high standards in personal responsibility.
Now those folks at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher are after Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley. All sorts of complaints about Ridley not meeting with The Lamest Commissioner and allegedly telling players during the Masters in April not to defect to the LIV.
Do the hacks at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher (aka Dewey, Cheetum and How) realize that Chairman Ridley is indeed, an esteemed lawyer here in Tampa and a partner in the firm of Foley & Lardner?
The complaint alleges that Ridley and R&A Chief Martin Slumbers threatened Asian Tour CEO Cho Minn Thant if he supported LIV Golf. The R&A did take away the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit spot in The Open but also still kept its qualifying series spots in place so, yeah, thin evidence of damage at best.
So now that we see that the Defectors want to jump back and forth between the PGA Tour and the LIV exhibition series, well, that seems to squash that notion that they all left because, and we quote, “we wanted to play less.”
We were surprised to find, that no where in the complaint are the words:
“As Greg says, it’s good for the game, good for the players, good for the fans.”
So the first volley has been fired — in northern California of all places.
Can’t remember the PGA Tour being headquartered there.
This comes as no surprise. The Lamest Commissioner started sabre rattling a year ago.
Where it goes from here?
Well, the Crown Prince wants to show his new golf tour toy is here to make golf a better place all around the world.
Click here if you have nothing better to do than to read all 102 pages of the Complaint against the PGA Tour:
Update From DogLeg Litigation Headquarters:
The first court date in the legal challenge to the PGA Tour’s stand against LIV will come Tuesday in San Jose, California.
The U.S. District Court for California’s Northern District has scheduled an in-person hearing for the three players – Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones – who have challenged the Tour’s suspension of the three for violating the circuit’s policies and playing the Saudi league. The players have filed for a temporary restraining order that would allow them to play the FedExCup playoffs, which begin next Thursday in Memphis.
The hearing, which will be held before Judge Beth Labson Freeman, is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT and the Tour must file any opposition to the players’ motion for relief by 8 a.m. PT Monday.
This whole situation reminds me of Trump and company leading up to and after January 6.
In this analogy Monahan is Trump and the other golf bodies, some of which are respectable people like some republican politicians, are pressured into doing things they know they shouldn’t be doing.
The golf and mainstream media much like Trumps media also seem to have fallen in this pressure trap.
As with Trump we all saw it developing and saw it happening and after saw how the how people justified it, tried to make sure to get credit for their actions while being careful not to get in trouble for their actions.
The whole thing is just eerily similar. Of course not as violent or significant to our whole way of living.
But As with Trumps ridiculous revolution All these different peoples intentions may be good, as they protect the status quo of golf so passionately, but what they are doing does seem a little conspiracy-y and scary, I must say.
Sure this time it’s because the Saudis are dirty or whatever, but how can we know something like this won’t happen every time —where all the established parties do all these things from guilt to patriotism, to whatever they collectively can do to prevent competition —and more importantly to prevent major new investments into the industry —because it doesn’t benefit them (although it actually does if they weren’t so paranoid they would see it).
I too have admiration for Mr Ridley and am hopeful and sure he hasn’t done anything too not allowed. But This is just proof of how the lack of foresight from pga tour brass —to cooperate—has led to foolishly going to a war they cannot win while worst yet dragging all their friends in, including some great people.
I must remind you, and you haven’t grasped the concept that the PGA Tour is owned by its players. If they, as a majority thought as you do about Monahan, there would be recommendations for his replacement, but the Players Council helps set policy for the Tour, it is not a suppressive regime like Saudi Arabia where MBS rules with an iron fist. The LIV is foolish to cast bad light on the governing bodies, members of those will decide the world ranking points issue. I’ve known Fred (Mr. Ridley as you call him) for probably 40 years. Fred is INCREDIBLY smart and insightful….Norman bad-mouthed him and everyone else……I believe you need to get your head out of the sand out here in Hawaii and understand that Norman is INDEED — The Lamest Commissioner In All The Land —
I must remind you that a lot of pga tour players laugh at that notion they own the tour. That may be true on paper…
But that whole concept is besides Monahan. We will see how much longer monahan is in the role. One or two more dumb dumbs and it’s gotta be over. I think he “retires” sooner than he would have before all this.
A lot of players have expressed disinterest in his work. Of course the players still there are the more scared ones and the last thing anyone expects from this remaining group of pga tour stars is anyone starting a petition against Monahan.
They all saw what happened to Phil.
Obviously imo the remaining pga tour stars are young or blind loyalists and are too close to the situation to see Monahan is not doing what’s best for them. What’s best for the players is to have both, which regardless of what anyone says they can —and will— have both. Because no one is going away despite some great efforts. There will be LIv in the new landscape. And it is to no ones benefit to keep top players out for good from any tour.
I’m sure LIv doesn’t want to go up against everyone.
Norman firing cannonballs at all the four major championship owners, you think Monahan isn’t all that, Norman has to be the dumbest guy on the planet doing that…..He’ll be gone long before Monahan.
Again surely Norman knows it is not ideal every major entity in golf has been brought up in this case.
But this is in the lawyers hands now.
You do realise the players only have 40% representation on the board and 40% voting rights? So if 100% of the players want to make a change, they can’t make it happen unless the cronies at Ponte Vedre Beach want it to happen. So no, the players cannot replace Monahan even if they wanted to.
if the players were that angry at Monahan, you’d see things happening but purses are growing nicely, big events getting bigger. Korn Ferry is healthy and million keep pouring into local charities….so what’s your issue, Forky?
My issue is the wrap around season was killing golf in every other part of the world. Monahan has effectively destroyed the Australasian and sunshine tours and turned the dp world tour into a feeder league. Seve would be turning in his grave at what has become of his European tour.
I, by no means, endorse liv. It’s becoming a bit of a circus. But the best thing about all this is the pga tour getting a bloody nose. It has moat certainly not been acting in the best interests of WORLD golf for a long time.
Even now, the pga tour is being reactive rather than proactive. Monahan has to go.. he would be put of his depth running a Sunday social league. Smarter heads need to get involved (Ridley?) and sort this mess out. The first place to start is the long suffering tours in other parts of the world.
The wrap=around season was here before Monahan took over.
Regardless of when it started, a good leader would have seen the destruction it was doing to other tours around the world and made changes. But he let it fester and we are now where we are today. One of your comments above sums up the problem ‘local charities’. Golf is a world game, and the pga tour as its biggest league needs to take some responsibility for the global game. It is way too US centric and if liv truly does become a global tour, then maybe I will come around to it. You said to me some weeks ago that the Australasian tour should take responsibility for charities in Australia, Japanese tour should take responsibility for charities in Japan etc. But that is not possible due to being ground down to nothing by the pga tour bully.
Well Forky, you just shot down the “monopoly” claims of the defectors, the game is WORLD-WIDE with many different tours — I never said anything about the Australasian Tour taking on a charity role, must have been someone else…..truth is EVERYONE wants to be the PGA Tour to play against the best players in the world…some players are perfectly happy and make good livings playing on tours in their regional areas — the LIV is not a “Tour” — it’s an exhibition and fits the definition of such with players paid up front and 54-hole events, not enough to even be considered “official” — a different version of the Champions Tour….the PGA Tour also has sunk money to create the Mackenzie Tour, the Latino-American Tour….so they are doing plenty for golf in the Americas; The DP World Tour has the Sunshine Tour….PGA Tour’s charitable component sets it apart from everyone else. And there’s nothing charitable about the Saudis — they beheaded 81 of their own citizens a few months back, assassinated a Washington Post correspondent and just recently allowed women to get a drivers license!
Monahan has been finches minion for much longer. He may have been there. For a long time the pga tour has felt they could do no irreparable damage. If they got something wrong they could always change.
Name me ONE great commissioner of any professional sport…..they all get blasted most of the time…..I think it’s mostly the LIV-lovers like you and Forky who blast Monahan.
It’s pretty hard to blast the nba guy Silver. And Whan aside from Evian has been practically flawless. Although the purist in me hates the Evian thing.
Now Rogan has issues but no doubt the guy is a Cracker Jack.
All these guys have gotten criticized but none of the 3 get blasted routinely like poor commissioners.
Tom players are unhappy with Monahan and you do see things happening. Purses are not growing nicely enough, that’s part of the problem. Big events getting bigger now but not before when it may have helped avoid what’s happening now. Korn ferry pays nothing and nobody watches it and it’s just a feeder tour that is starting to lose some big amateurs to LIv.
Millions into charity is nice. But not as nice as billions into golf.
Not speaking for forky. But There’s a lot of issues Tom.
Only guys saying anything adverse are the one who defected….it’s not Millions to charities, literally Billiona…..again, you are one of the 30 percent who believes the tour has “issues” — has best players in the world, best pension plan, best events so many quality courses.
I don’t get where you get this 3o percent number from but it seems significant.
Rickie Fowler and many other guys still on tour have cautiously expressed many issues, including the biggest of brown nosers admitting there are issues.
Billions to charities over 50 some years, that’s true. Some like you would say that’s mostly on the backs of the local charities. But an incredible accomplishment no doubt and they will continue to add to it.
The pga tour has done some great things over the years for players and fans and media, volunteers, golf courses, and many others. No doubt about it.
But the last 5 years or so it’s been slipping. Mainly by being stuck in their ways. And the things they do add are always lacking something; as with the fed ex cup never providing a satisfying finale.
This commissioner job was always going to be a critical time. I never liked when finchem, who’s style was becoming obsolete, picked his predecessor years before calling it a career.
Athletes are changing. Fans are changing. In recent years the golf establishment has needed to change many things but by not doing so, they have made themselves vulnerable.
Tom can troll LIv as an exhibition all he wants. But this exhibition has the pga tour where it is: scrambling and knee jerk reacting.
And btw we talked about the Asian here, which is one of the places where 3 round events have gotten world rank points.
LIV meets all the criteria of an “exhibition” — when the Tour was sued by some old guys who couldn’t get on the Senior Tour, Finchem, under oath, described that Tour as an “exhibition” — most events 54 holes — what does that sound like? That lawsuit failed. I’m expecting the judge in San Francisco will say she needs time to study the issue and grant the three defectors a spot in this week’s event.
Again in my book 54 holes seems like a completely suitable official pro golf event. At the same time the usga juniors play like 9 rounds in a week —what does that say about 4 rounds?
Imo this 72 hole clause with the owgr has to go. Pro Golf tournaments can taken endless forms. 36 holes. 100 holes. Who cares how many holes ? The owgr needs to stop stifling the sport with this 72 hole nonsense.
I agree. The 3 should be able to play. The potential issues of not letting them play out weight the potential negative issues if they do play.
Baxter, even the best amateur events are 72 holes!
Looks like we were both wrong. This judge is Living these 3 players out.
Which does seem strange considering there is a case here and these players could be damaged. But Liv have done some questionable strategies and arguments. They waited too long and LIv shouldn’t talk about money.
Imo Liv players focus in their argument needed to be squarely on the pga tour playoffs being the best option for these players to get into the majors. And that the majors are above the petty money and regular tour issues going on.
I’m honestly surprised at all the things being argued in the case; like random player interviews. These judges need to understand this is an endless golf soap opera with hundreds of people asking hundreds of people all kinds of questions every single day with no end in sight.
And even the most significant people are just saying things out of their ass that really should have little legal value. They may be saying something that is not true to hype or sell something, but then that comment is used against them out of context in court? Doesn’t make any sense.
These judges need to focus on the elements in this case that set precedents for future cases and NOT on the drama we golf fans are all stuck with now.
This brings up a big beef:
All these lazy golf channel shows have golfers watching talking heads like Lynch babble propaganda and the only reprieve is boring graphics …at this point they seem to never ever show any golf shot montages; probably because require some work like editing.
All of today’s drama —even a fairly significant day like today— could be summed up in a small segment that lasts a couple of minutes on golf today. Then then they can get back to covering many other stories. But instead every golf today and golf central will be the Lynch and Diaz propaganda monologue show for the rest of time; at least for years to come. Pick your poison between annoyingly overly well spoken biased drivel and underly well spoken biased drivel, respectively.
We golf fans understand, there is going to be a long drawn out legal battle and the established golf world is adapting to big changes like an autistic kid (not well). But that doesn’t mean these shows —designed to entertain and drive people to the sport—need to bore people with all this legal drama for years to come.
…it really looks lazy all this repeating the same arguments over and over. We do it a lot here but this isn’t National fricking tv designed to “grown the game” (like everything else in golf).
Just wait for Friday’s feature, then you can dig into the legal comments; Truth be known, the LIV exists and claims to be thriving which in and of itself, totally blows the “anti-trust” claim….if the PGA Tour had a monopolistic control of the game, the LIV wouldn’t exist….it does therefore the PGA Tour obviously is not a monopoly. If Cam Smith heads to LIV, it basically damages the LIV “monopoly” claim….players are free to go….and, here’s something the “Independent Contractor” cries don’t take into consideration; PGA Tour players don’t exactly fit the definition of ICs because they get big time health plan benefits and as Tiger pointed out, they have the best pension plan in sports — Independent Contractors (I’m one) do not have those..
There’s no doubt LIv is good at spending. But the reason LIv wanted to work with the pga tour from the beginning is because the full potential success of their vision and investment cannot really be achieved without ALL the top players.
And as we know the pga tour tactics are making it very hard for LIv to get the 48 they need to be able to justify these billions getting invested into the sport.
LIv never wanted to be a competitor. They wanted to create a super league within the framework. I still think that is Livs ultimate goal to be associated and work together with everyone to schedule the top 48 together for these 14 events, which should be more like 8-10 imo.
Clearly monopoly and independent contractors both have a lot more small print than most reasonable people would expect. At this point who knows.
All we can do is wait and see what some judges say. We can talk about legal stuff but lawyers always have some rabbit in the hat no one knew about. So I’m not even going to pretend to know law.
But I will stand by my business acumen believing that downright excluding 20% and counting of the top 100 in this undeniable reality is not a smart move.
Excluding guys like Cam Smith, the classy Mark Leishman, and now it seems the undeniable talent of young Cam Young—the Open runner up and son of a pga pro no less— is downright self destructive.
That’s not Greg Norman’s agenda, he has had his long-standing vendetta against the Tour and found someone to bankroll it….that’s the intelligent observation out there; LIV wants to gain credibility from players who made a name for themselves on the PGA Tour, they overpaid players who are basically damaged goods; Brooks Koepka doesn’t love golf, doesn’t even like golf, had had to play to bankroll his lifestyle; DJ would rather be out on his boat with his brother, cruising around Jupiter than practice hard, that’s why he hadn’t won since 2020….I could go on and on…..PGA Tour wasn’t sad to see Reed go, he’s a pariah….Bryson is unsure of how long his body will hold up, Brooks’ body already giving out on him…..a ton of no-names at the bottom of the depth chart, at least 20 no one has ever heard of….Chase Koepka not good enough to earn a Tour card, Pete Uihlein can’t keep his….at some point, the Saudis will quit bankrolling this money-gobbling venture that offers not a dollar return on the billion that’s been spent.
I’m not even going to waste my time on disparaging players. A lot of the “top” guys on the pga tour haven’t won in a while and some have never won still.
Norman has always wanted something to bring the best players together more often, make them the money they deserve, and so forth.
He has clearly wanted to work with the Tour in the past and recently, it’s common knowledge they approached the pga tour about something called the “pga tour super league”, but if the tour is not interested in this vision to bring the best together more often —sans the free loading rif raf of pro golf — then Norman was always going to find another way.
There is absolutely no doubt top players and fans have been clamoring for more of what Norman has been clamoring for for a long, long time and the pga tour has ignored and dragged it feet, justifying doing nothing because they are on top, so why should they change anything?
Well, what’s happening now is why.
And wishing upon a star that the Saudis stop investing is futile Tom, that’s not going to happen. They will only continue investing more and little by little will start making revenue.
As I’ve said early and often and more and more people are catching on now, compromise is needed.
Compromise the only resolution that makes sense.
I don’t see it, I feel like responding to you Baxter is like talking to a wall.
Anyone reading us can decide who the wall is between us.
All I can say now is People like you said none of this would happen and here we are. All of it is happening.
Well, you’re gonna love my Friday stuff!