LIV Golf accused the PGA Tour of getting Tiger Woods to ‘publicly criticize’ gamers for becoming a member of the Saudi-backed breakaway.
The accusations had been made in courtroom paperwork submitted initially by 11 LIV Golf rebels, although Carlos Ortiz has since withdrawn his identify, as a part of an antitrust lawsuit filed in opposition to the PGA Tour final week.
The ten remaining gamers, together with Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Ian Poulter, had been suspended by the PGA Tour for becoming a member of the controversial LIV Golf Sequence and have claimed they’re being punished for taking part in within the breakaway’s tournaments.
Within the lawsuit, filed August 3, the plaintiffs accused the PGA Tour of getting the 46-year-old to ‘do its bidding’ by publicly attacking his fellow professionals.
It learn: ‘The Tour additionally bought Tiger Woods to do its bidding and publicly criticize golfers— notably youthful golfers—for becoming a member of LIV Golf by suggesting they might by no means play in The Masters, The Open, or different Majors and wouldn’t earn OWGR factors.’
The 15-time main champion spoke out in opposition to LIV Golf forward of the one hundred and fiftieth Open at St Andrews in July as he savaged the Saudi rebels for ‘turning their again’ on the game.
‘I disagree with those that have gone to LIV, I feel they’ve turned their again on what allowed them to get to this place,’ he started. ‘Some gamers have by no means had an opportunity to even expertise enjoying on one of many excursions.
‘They’ve gone proper from the novice ranks to that group and by no means actually had an opportunity to really feel what it’s wish to play a schedule or play in huge occasions.
LIV Golf seemingly accused Tiger Woods (above) of performing as a mouthpiece for the PGA Tour
Phil Mickelson (left) and Bryson DeChambeau (proper) are amongst 11 LIV Golf gamers to file an antitrust lawsuit in opposition to the PGA Tour after being suspended for becoming a member of the breakaway collection
‘A few of these gamers could by no means even get an opportunity to play in main championships. That may be a chance. They are going to by no means get an opportunity to expertise this proper right here. Stroll down the fairways at Augusta Nationwide.
‘I do not perceive it. What these gamers are doing for assured cash, what’s the incentive to follow? What’s the incentive to go on the market and earn it within the dust?
‘You might be simply getting paid some huge cash up entrance and enjoying a number of occasions and enjoying 54 holes.
‘They’re enjoying blaring music. I can perceive 54 holes for the Senior Tour. The fellows are older and a bit extra banged up. When you find yourself younger, 72-hole assessments are a part of it. We used to have 36-hole play-offs for majors.
Woods has been essentially the most excessive profile gamers to talk out in opposition to the Saudi-funded collection
‘I simply do not see how that is constructive in the long run. It might be unhappy to see a few of these younger children by no means get an opportunity to stroll these hallowed grounds and play in these majors.’
The defectors’ lawsuit claimed that Wooden’s feedback ‘echoed earlier proof indicating that the Tour was persevering with to stress the Majors to affix the Tour’s illegal group boycott to exclude LIV Golf and punish any gamers who performed in any LIV occasions.’
Organizers of the Masters Event had been additionally accused of aligning themselves with the PGA Tour and seeding doubt amongst professionals that they might be barred from future main tournaments at Augusta Nationwide for becoming a member of LIV Golf.
‘Augusta Nationwide, the promoter of The Masters, has taken a number of actions to point its alignment with the PGA Tour, thus seeding doubt amongst high skilled golfers whether or not they can be banned from future Masters Tournaments,’ learn the lawsuit.
The antitrust lawsuit additionally claimed that Augusta Nationwide officers (pictured chairman Fred Ridley) had seeded doubt amongst defectors that they might not be allowed to play the Masters
‘As an preliminary matter, the hyperlinks between the PGA Tour and Augusta Nationwide run deep. The actions by Augusta Nationwide point out that the PGA Tour has used these channels to stress Augusta Nationwide to do its bidding.
‘For instance, in February, 2022 Augusta Nationwide representatives threatened to disinvite gamers from The Masters in the event that they joined LIV Golf.’
Greg Norman, CEO of the breakaway collection, revealed LIV Golf tried to grab up Woods with a mega-money provide.
Norman, a two-time main champion, appeared on Fox Information‘ Tucker Carlson Present final week and hit again on the rival tour as he accused the PGA Tour of continuous to take sponsorship cash from Saudi backers.
When Carlson requested if the $700-800million provide to Woods he had seen floated round was appropriate, Norman confirmed the determine was ‘someplace in that neighborhood’.
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman revealed the collection tried to grab up Woods with an enormous provide
‘That quantity was on the market earlier than I grew to become CEO,’ Norman admitted. ‘That quantity has been on the market, sure.
‘Tiger is a needle mover. So course you bought to take a look at the perfect of the perfect. The initially approached tiger earlier than I grew to become CEO so sure, that quantity is someplace in that neighborhood.’
Nonetheless, Woods was not tempted into turning his again on the PGA Tour and when talking at St Andrews final month, he was as equally scathing of Norman as he was the collection, calling the Australian out immediately.
‘I do know what the PGA Tour stands for, what it has given us: the power to chase after our careers, the trophies we play for and to earn what we get and the historical past that has been a part of this sport,’ he stated.
Norman confirmed 2019 Masters champion Tiger Woods was supplied $700-800million to affix
‘I do know Greg tried to do what he’s doing now again within the early Nineties. It did not work then and he’s making an attempt to make it work now. I nonetheless do not see how that’s within the sport’s greatest pursuits.
‘All of the governing our bodies, the PGA Tour, the European Tour, all of the majors — all of us see it in a different way to Greg.’
Three of the plaintiffs, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, sought a brief restraining order to have the ability to play within the Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs this week.
Nonetheless, the trio had been unsuccessful of their try Tuesday as a federal decide for the Northern District of California upheld the PGA Tour’s ruling that Gooch, Jones, and Swafford couldn’t compete within the occasions.
Involved WhatsApp messages from Sergio Garcia, who additionally jumped ship to affix LIV Golf, had been revealed as a part of the lawsuit.
The 2017 Masters champion’s messages to Norman acknowledged that some stars had been ‘s****ing their pants’ over the specter of suspension from the PGA Tour over becoming a member of LIV Golf.