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On Wednesday, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan encouraged Tour members to denounce their “former colleagues” after 11 players who defected to LIV Golf filed an antitrust complaint against the Tour.
Several of them jumped at the open invitation.
Will Zalatoris, runner-up at the 2022 PGA Championship, didn’t seem to welcome the idea of players either quitting their membership to join the rival Saudi-backed league or playing without a release to join the Tour.
PHIL MICKELSON AND OTHER LIV GOLFERS FILING ANTITRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST PGA TOUR: REPORT
He called their decision “detrimental” to the PGA Tour.
“What I feel a bit frustrating to me is the fact that obviously they’ve made their choice to go there – they’re playing a direct competing tour and they want to come back here and play…what they are doing, going there, is detrimental to our tour. So you can’t have it both ways,” Zalatoris said. through the Golf Channel.
Similarly, four-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Kisner called the situation “difficult”, adding that while he had no “remorse” for those who joined the rival tour, he thinks they should “stick to where they moved”.
“Obviously they didn’t like something about our Tour, so they went on a different tour, and now they’re trying to fight to get back on our Tour. It doesn’t make much sense to me. “, said Kisner.
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Phil Mickelson and 10 other LIV golfers have filed an antitrust lawsuit claiming the PGA Tour indefinite suspensions intended to harm their careers. In addition to the complaint, three other golfers – Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones – have all requested a temporary restraining order from playing in the FedEx Cup playoffs next week, arguing that they qualified before joining. LIV Golf.
JT Poston, who joined the Tour in 2015, expressed concern that the lawsuit would ultimately affect players they have previously competed with.
“When you have these lawsuits and stuff like that, the money that’s used to fight these lawsuits and to support these cases, I guess, comes out of our pockets – the guys that stayed with the Tour, a Tour that has done so much good for so many guys here,” he told Golf Channel.
Other players have taken to social media to share the same sentiment.
“It’s really sad that 3 LIV players are trying to play in the FedEx Cup Qualifiers,” Michael Kim said in a tweet on Wednesday. “You made LIV’s decision, stay there. You took the money, which is good, but it’s shameful. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have to say yes.”
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“I have no problem with all these guys taking the money and playing LIV. If that’s what they want to do, great,” he added in a separate tweet. “Don’t try to force your way to play the FedEx playoffs, because LIV’s attorneys have proposed and legal fees are paid.”
“It looks like some people want their cake and eat it too,” Joel Dahmen said. “Please stay away in your fantasy land. Sincerely, Most tour players.”
In an open letter to the Tour, Monahan promised to “vigorously” fight the lawsuit to protect the PGA Tour.
“This is your tour, built on the foundation that we work together for the good and growth of the organization…and then you reap the rewards. It seems your former colleagues have forgotten an important aspect of this equation,” wrote the commissioner.