The PGA Tour faces another lawsuit as the legal battle over the conflict with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit rumbles on.
Attorney Larry Klayman has filed a Second Amended Class Action Complaint in Palm Beach County, Florida, against the PGA Tour, DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) and the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
The filing alleges that “there is a collusive, coordinated effort to destroy LIV Golf and its players in their infancy”. In a statement Klayman said that the OWGR was “alleged to be major part of the conspiracy to restrain trade in violation of Florida’s antitrust laws.”
He said that “LIV Golf players are being denied world ranking points to eliminate them from playing in major and other tournaments, harming consumers in this respect as well.” In the filing, Klayman also claims that the quality of golf offered at PGA Tour has been “diluted and destroyed by a deterioration of the talent level” as a result of suspensions of LIV Golf players.
The US PGA Tour has banned more than 30 players who have teed off in one of LIV’s 48-man, 54-hole tournaments, a move that prompted 11 LIV Golf players to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA Tour in August.
Eight of the original plaintiffs in that suit, including vocal LIV supporter Phil Mickelson, have since removed their names from the action, while Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones and Peter Uihlein remain as plaintiffs along with LIV Golf itself.
In September, the PGA Tour filed a countersuit against LIV Golf, accusing it of interfering with its contracts with players. In August, a US judge denied a request by three LIV Golf players for a temporary restraining order that would have allowed them to compete in the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs.
But the US Department of Justice has opened an anti-trust investigation into the PGA Tour’s actions in attempting to quell the upstart circuit. The DP World Tour’s efforts to suspend golfers who participate in LIV Golf has also sparked litigation in Europe.
LIV Golf, which has signed several top players including American Phil Mickelson and Australian Cameron Smith plans 14 events next year after ending its first season last month.
SOURCE: AFP NEWS