Ian Poulter and Phil Mickelson are among a group of rebellious players who took the PGA Tour to court on Wednesday to overturn their suspensions for participating in the isolated LIV Golf Series. Poulter also took legal action against the European Tour for participating in the Scottish Open last month. The PGA Tour has suspended all of its members who signed up for the Saudi-backed LIV golf collection.
He joined the trial of 10 other Rebels, including Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau. If the court action is successful, it would disrupt the PGA Tour’s ability to implement a disciplinary motion.
And it would open the PGA Tour to additional raids from Saudi-backed operations. “The tour’s conduct serves no other purpose than to harm gamers and prevent entry of the primary significant offensive risks the tour has faced over the years,” the lawsuit states.
“Limiting top skilled golfers from their individual opportunities drains the energy of the Tour field and lowers the quality of the product, depriving golf followers of many leading golfers from participating in Tour opportunities.”
Three Rebels—Taylor Gooch, Hudson Swiford and Matt Jones—attempt to win a short-term suspension that would free them to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs later in the week in Memphis.
The trio certified for a lucrative post-season opportunity, however, will miss out after revising the eligibility criteria to perform on the LIV golf circuit. The complaint, along with a petition for a short-term restraining order, was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
Abraham Ensor, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Wihlin were part of Poulter, Mickelson, DeChambeau, Gooch, Swiford and Jones to put their names on the swimsuit.
“The tour’s conduct serves no other purpose than to harm gamers and prevent entry of the primary significant offensive risks the tour has faced over the years,” the lawsuit states.
The PGA Tour still vows to fight the rebels on the court. “These suspended gamers – who are actually employees of the Saudi Golf League – have walked away from the tour and need to come back,” PGA Tour chief Sarkar Jay Monahan said.
“This is an attempt for the tour platform to advertise itself and free-ride on its own benefits and efforts.” Allowing re-entry into our opportunities compromises the tour and competitors, harming our organization, our players, our teammates and our supporters.
“The case they filed is expected to give us another consideration, which is why we want to make our case clear and strong.”