The PGA Tour has filed a motion opposing the temporary restraining order filed by three LIV golfers – Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford – who are seeking to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs. A hearing will be held tomorrow in San Jose, California, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The three plaintiffs are also among the LIV golfers who have filed an antitrust suit against the PGA, arguing that the tour cannot penalize players for participating in another league.
In its motion, the PGA Tour writes, “The antitrust laws do not allow Plaintiffs to have their cake and eat it too.” The Tour argues that Gooch, Jones and Swafford knew that they would be suspended from all PGA Tour events when they joined LIV Golf, and that they waited until the last minute to file.
For the first event in the FedEx Cup playoffs, this week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tenn., the top 125 players in the standings are eligible. The field in Memphis will be 122 after three eligible golfers announced they would not be competing. In addition to Gooch (20th), Jones (65th) and Swafford (67th), several other players who have joined LIV Golf were in the top 125 and have been replaced by lower-ranked golfers.
As the PGA Tour’s motion notes, that group includes several of Gooch, Jones and Swaffords’ fellow plaintiffs in the antitrust case. All the other LIV golfers in the top 125, the PGA Tour writes, “recognize there is no emergency or irreparable harm; they too have qualified to play in the FedExCup but have not asked the Court for the extraordinary relief sought through this motion. The Court should use its equitable powers to redress real emergencies, not engineered ones by parties who knowingly accepted multi-million-dollar payouts to place themselves in the situation they are in.”