Golf star Phil Mickelson, along with ten other pro players, has filed a lawsuit challenging the PGA Tour’s suspension. The eleven golfers had joined the Saudi Arabia-sponsored LIV tournament series and were subsequently banned by the PGA Tour.
The lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. “The Tour’s conduct is for the sole purpose of harming players and preventing the occurrence of the first significant competitive threat the Tour has faced in decades,” the statement of lawsuit reads.
Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones have also applied to the court for injunctions to remain in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs. The trio qualified for the playoffs before joining the LIV series. As a result, the PGA banned them from next week’s tournament.
The PGA Tour justified the suspensions with reference to the bylaws. After that, professionals are not allowed to compete in events other than PGA tournaments without permission. The LIV tournament series attracts players with high entry fees and record prize money. According to several English media reports, Mickelson is said to have received a bonus of 200 million dollars for his move alone. Superstar Tiger Woods turned down an offer of between $700 million and $800 million.
Most recently, the European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson was relieved of his post because he had switched to the LIV tour. It was worth it financially. The Swede won right at the start and received almost five million dollars for it. Instead of Stenson, Englishman Luke Donald will now lead the European team.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to improve the image of the country, which is controversial for human rights violations, with the series and the prominent names. The US intelligence services regard him as the mastermind behind the assassination of journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.