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Sports LIV golfers denied restraining order, explained: Why judge ruled in favor of PGA, preventing FedEx Cup Playoffs participation

10:21  10 august  2022
10:21  10 august  2022 Source:   sportingnews.com

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  Column: Disruption now the norm until end of PGA Tour season It's already been a good week for Jason Day and Rickie Fowler before they even hit a shot at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. Both were outside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings with only two tournaments left in the PGA Tour's regular season, leaving them in jeopardy of missing out on the postseason. They are exempt through at least next season, so this largely would be a matter of pride, particularly for Day. A former world No. 1, he has never been ineligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs. But then a memo arrived overnight involving the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, one that didn't include phrases like “force for good” and “unique energy.

As the war wages on between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, one battle has been settled.

  LIV golfers denied restraining order, explained: Why judge ruled in favor of PGA, preventing FedEx Cup Playoffs participation © Provided by Sporting News

On Tuesday, Judge Beth Labson Freeman denied a temporary restraining order filed by Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, and Matt Jones against the PGA, consequently denying them participation in the FedEx Cup Playoffs this year.

Per Sean Zak, part of Freeman's justification is:

LIV contracts are based upon players calculation of what they were leaving behind.

It's the first blow against an antitrust lawsuit being brought against the PGA Tour by 11 LIV Golf players, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau.

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MORE: Cameron Smith reportedly next to defect to LIV Golf

Why are LIV Golf players suing the PGA Tour?

11 LIV Golf players filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour last week, including Mickelson, DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortis, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter, and Peter Uihlein. Gooch, Swafford, and Jones have the breakout for the restraining order.

Mickelson has been critical of the PGA Tour and its seeming refusal to grow the game for some time. Some of the players named have already resigned their PGA Tour membership.

Per the lawsuit:

As the Tour’s monopoly power has grown, it has employed its dominance to craft an arsenal of anticompetitive restraints to protect its long-standing monopoly. Now, threatened by the entry of LIV Golf, Inc. (“LIV Golf”), and diametrically opposed to its founding mission, the Tour has ventured to harm the careers and livelihoods of any golfers, including Plaintiffs Phil Mickelson, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, Matt Jones, Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak, and Peter Uihlein (“Plaintiffs”), who have the temerity to defy the Tour and play in tournaments sponsored by the new entrant. The Tour has done so in an intentional and relentless effort to crush nascent competition before it threatens the Tour’s monopoly.

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Why did some players seek a restraining order?

So why was the restraining order just filed by Gooch, Swafford, and Jones? Simply, they would have been eligible to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs by points, but the PGA Tour suspended all LIV Golf members indefinitely. Subsequently, they were ineligible to participate.

In its explanation of the suspension, the PGA Tour said, in part:

Also in accordance with PGA TOUR Tournament regulations, the players who have resigned their memberships will be removed from the FedExCup Points List when the official statistics following the RBC Canadian Open are posted on Sunday evening. To be clear, these players will not be permitted to play in PGA TOUR tournaments as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category. For those who haven't yet resigned, we will ensure they will not negatively impact your tournament eligibility, your position in the Priority Rankings or your eligibility to compete in the FedExCup Playoffs. We will update you as we work through this process. …

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  FedEx Cup playoffs, explained: Updated standings, points format & more to know about golf's 2022 championship FedEx Cup playoffs, explained: Updated standings, points format & more to know about golf's 2022 championshipThe field of golfers has officially been cut down to the top 125 over the past year, and they are set to begin the FedEx Cup playoffs. Over the next two weeks, the field will be cut down even more, until there are only 30 golfers left, who will each compete for the largest purse on the tour.

Justin Thomas also had strong words for those suing.

"They're suing me. They're suing Rory (McIlroy). They're suing Tiger (Woods)," Thomas said on the "No Laying Up" podcast in June. "They're suing every single one of us that they've looked in the face, looked in the eyes and played rounds of golf with ... To me, that's where a little bit of the betrayal and upsetting and sad feelings come from. Again, they are clearly doing what they feel is best for them. So they're going to continue to go down that route in terms of lawsuits and whatnot."

MORE: Greg Norman reveals LIV Golf's massive offer to Tiger Woods

Interestingly, the latest addition to LIV Golf -- Cameron Smith -- will be eligible to compete in the playoffs that begin on Thursday, since they occur before LIV Golf Boston, which tees off in September.

Which players can't compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs?

Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, and Matt Jones were the three seeking a temporary restraining order that would have allowed them to compete.

The trio losing that request in Freeman's ruling ultimately means they won't get to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs despite technically being qualified.

Cameron Young 'strongly inclined' to remain on PGA Tour, turn down LIV Golf

  Cameron Young 'strongly inclined' to remain on PGA Tour, turn down LIV Golf Cameron Young, who as been linked to the Saudi-backed upstart LIV Golf tour, isn't likely to join it.The likely PGA Tour Rookie of the Year was linked to the upstart LIV Golf tour by The Times UK on Wednesday, but a person close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue said the 25-year-old isn’t likely to join the Saudi-backed league.

Some of the other players on the LIV Golf circuit have already resigned their PGA Tour membership.

Everyone in LIV Golf, however, is suspended from the PGA Tour indefinitely.

FedEx Cup Playoffs purse, payout

The answer to why any player would want to participate in the FedEx Cup Playoffs is simple: Money.

After all, the reason golfers joined LIV was for a bigger payday.

Here's a breakdown of how much a player could make:

Place Payout
1st $18,000,000
2nd $6,500,000
3rd $5,000,000
4th $4,000,000
5th $3,000,000
6th $2,500,000
7th $2,000,000
8th $1,500,000
9th $1,250,000
10th $1,000,000
11th $950,000
12th $900,000
13th $850,000
14th $800,000
15th $760,000
16th $720,000
17th $700,000
18th $680,000
19th $660,000
20th $640,000
21st $620,000
22nd $600,000
23rd $580,000
24th $565,000
25th $550,000
26th $540,000
27th $530,000
28th $520,000
29th $510,000
30th $500,000

PGA Tour 'lifer' Davis Love III speaks on LIV Golf controversy: ‘I’m just getting started’ .
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