Report: Federal judge SIDES with PGA Tour against LIV after latest court motion

A federal judge sided with the PGA Tour after attorneys for the American circuit filed their latest motion against LIV Golf on Monday.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 10 Jan 2023
Report: Federal judge SIDES with PGA Tour against LIV after latest court motion

A federal judge appeared to side with the PGA Tour after LIV Golf's lawyers tried to argue the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the governor of the wealth fund had no involvement in the day-to-day running of the breakaway tour. 

In response to LIV Golf's antitrust claims, the PGA Tour countersued the Saudi-backed golf league last September. 

That suit expanded when the PGA Tour's lawyers subpoenaed the PIF of Saudi Arabia and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is the governor of the fund financing the LIV Golf League. 

Related: LIV Golf lose another top executive

Previously, PIF and Al-Rumayyan tried to argue the U.S. District Court didn't have jurisdiction over a foreign wealth fund. 

In response - the PGA Tour's lawyers filed a motion on 9 January stating: 

"PIF and Al-Rumayyan should not be permitted to conduct business in the United States … only to hide behind a shell corporation to evade the jurisdiction of this court."

Attorneys for the PGA Tour claim that Al-Rumayyan and PIF misstated "central role in running LIV and making decisions related to this lawsuit". 

They accused their rival of strategically withholding documents that proves who controls the startup league. 

Reports previously surfaced that LIV's audacious plans were initially called "Project Wedge". 

Judge Beth Labson Freeman - who previously ruled against LIV players who tried to force their way into the FedEx Cup Playoffs - reportedly stated: 

"If LIV Golf is controlled by these entities, then LIV Golf is the entity that should be producing these documents. Their failure to do so may give you grounds for seeking a terminating sanction on some of the claims."

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Legal cases hang heavy over the game in 2023. 

Next month, a five-day hearing in London will determine whether or not the DP World Tour has the legal power to ban LIV players. 

Patrick Reed, who resigned from the PGA tour, is suing members of the golf media, alleging defamation

A previously agreed upon schedule in the PGA Tour's countersuit confirmed that it would take approximately six months for the production of "discovery documents, data and non-expert discovery". 

During this period it is likely that key PGA Tour and LIV Golf figures are deposed. 

Last November, it was confirmed that Phil Mickelson - who has dropped out of the antitrust lawsuit - was still the subject of discovery, meaning that Lefty could still be deposed. 

Next page: PGA Tour chief makes Tiger Woods PIP decision