Justin Thomas slams LIV Golf players’ lawsuit against PGA Tour: ‘They’re suing every single one of us’

A group of 11 LIV Tour golfers on Wednesday revealed plans to file an antitrust complaint against the PGA Tour after the latter suspended any defectors from the new Saudi-backed golf tour.

This group, which includes Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, accuses the PGA of “(damaging) the careers and livelihoods of all golfers… who have the temerity to challenge the Tour and play in tournaments sponsored by the new came.

“The Tour did this in an intentional and relentless effort to crush nascent competition before it threatened the Tour’s monopoly.”

The other nine golfers in suits are Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortis, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter, Peter Uihlein, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones – the latter three are seeking a temporary injunction to play in the 2022 FedEx. Play- cutting off.

MORE: LIV Golf players to file antitrust lawsuit against PGA Tour and seek temporary restraining order

Wednesday’s antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour resurrected a tough stance taken by PGA Tour stalwart Justin Thomas, who asserted in late June that any lawsuit by LIV or his golfers against the PGA Tour would be a direct attack on him and the other players on the circuit. .

“They’re chasing me. They’re chasing Rory (McIlroy). They’re chasing Tiger (Woods),” Thomas said on the “No waiting” podcast on June 28. “They’re chasing every single one of us they’ve looked in the face with, looked into their eyes with, and played golf with. …”

Explaining his response, Thomas said the PGA Tour defectors betrayed the PGA and the players who chose to stick with him instead of signing with LIV for a multi-million dollar contract.

“For me, that’s where a bit of the betrayal and the upsetting, sad feelings come from. Again, they’re clearly doing what they think is best for them. So they’re going to continue that in terms of lawsuits, and so on.

MORE: Who plays LIV Golf? Updated list of PGA Tour defectors includes Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and more

Thomas isn’t the only player to have expressed feelings of betrayal and disappointment over the burgeoning LIV Golf tour. Tiger, for example, expressed disappointment in Mickelson for quitting the tour (Tiger himself reportedly turned down a deal valued at $700-800 million). McIlroy also has shot at LIV Commissioner Greg Norman.

The LIV has also hit back at the PGA Tour, with Mickelson saying its greed over shared media rights has opened the door for other tours to attract PGA golfers. In the 105-page lawsuit filed by Mickelson and his LIV Golf counterparts on Wednesday, the group claimed that Augusta National took several steps to indicate its alignment with the PGA Tour, even threatening to disinvite 2022 Masters players if they joined LIV Golf. .

Regardless, it looks like the bad blood between the tours and their respective golfers will linger for some time.

Michael C. Ford