Federal judge rejects bids of three LIV golfers to compete in FedEx Cup knockouts

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A federal judge on Tuesday denied temporary injunctions against three golfers seeking to participate in the FedEx Cup Playoffs after leaving the PGA Tour for the emerging LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The players, Taylor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swaffordwas looking for relief to enter the first leg of the knockout round, at the FedEx St. Jude at TPC Southwind this week.

The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup rankings are eligible to compete at FedEx St. Jude Championship. Gooch is 20th on the leaderboard, Jones is 65th and Swafford is 67th. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan suspended players after they appeared in LIV Golf tournaments without notice. about the conflict event from the tour.

Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the United States District Court, in the Northern District of California, ruled that the LIV players failed to bring their irreparable damage case and agreed with the view of the trip. visit that the players’ arguments for emergency relief were “made by them.”

“It appears to the court that LIV contracts, negotiated by the player and completed between the parties, are based on the player’s calculation of what they will leave behind and how much money the player needs to earn to compensate. for those losses,” Freeman said in his ruling. “I agree with the defendants [the PGA Tour] that those losses were known to the player at the time and clearly monetized. “

Freeman notes that LIV Golf offers suspended players the opportunity to play elite golf in the United States with a guaranteed salary. “And, in fact, the evidence suggests that there seems no doubt that they will earn more than they have earned and could reasonably have expected to earn over a period of time. reasonable under the PGA [Tour]. “

“They made a business decision to get the money,” PGA Tour attorney Elliot Peters argued during the hearing. “Over the last two months, they’ve made more money than they’ve ever made on the PGA Tour. They’ve been paid to make up for what they’re complaining about here.”

LIV Golf officials said in a statement they were “disappointed” by Freeman’s decision. “No one benefits more than banning golfers from playing,” the statement read.

The PGA Tour said in a statement, “With today’s news, our players, fans and partners can now focus on what really matters over the next three weeks: the players The best in the world competed in the FedExCup Playoffs, ending an extremely exciting season with the FedExCup championship at the TOUR Championship.”

Gooch, Jones and Swafford and eight other LIV Golfers, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeaufiled an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour in federal court last week.

Freeman told lawyers that her first trial to hear the antitrust case will be in September 2023. If that date is fruitless, the trial likely won’t take place until 2025. This is important because LIV players currently do not receive Official World Golf Ranking Points for LIV events. LIV Golf recently submitted an application to OWGR for review.

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