The PGA Tour has filed a countersuit against the LIV Golf Series, claiming the renegade circuit interfered with contracts the Tour had with its players.
The Tour filed its countersuit Wednesday. It’s a response to LIV’s federal antitrust lawsuit filed in August, claiming the PGA Tour illegally suspended players for choosing to play LIV events.
In its countersuit, the PGA Tour claims that LIV Golf offered “astronomical sums of money to induce them to breach their contracts with the Tour in an effort to use the LIV Players and the game of golf to sportswash the recent history of Saudi atrocities and to further the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s Vision 2030 initiatives.”
“Indeed, a key component of LIV’s strategy has been to intentionally induce Tour members to breach their Tour agreements and play in LIV events while seeking to maintain their Tour memberships and play in marquee Tour events like The Players Championship and the FedEx Cup Playoffs, so LIV can free ride off the Tour and its platform,” the PGA Tour complaint reads.
“LIV has openly sought to damage the Tour’s business relationships with its members by inducing them to breach their contractual requirements, even going so far as to pay members’ legal fees to make breaching their contracts with Tour more enticing.”
The LIV Golf plaintiffs now include Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones, Peter Uihlein and LIV Golf itself. Phil Mickelson and three others are the latest to ask for removal as plaintiffs from the lawsuit.
LIV Golf released a statement Thursday in reaction to the countersuit.
“The Tour has made these counterclaims in a transparent effort to divert attention from their anti-competitive conduct, which LIV and the players detail in their 104-page complaint,” LIV Golf said. “We remain confident that the courts and the justice system will right these wrongs.”