Golf-Mickelson and three others withdrew from LIV Golf lawsuit against the PGA Tour

Golf-Mickelson and three others withdrew from LIV Golf lawsuit against the PGA Tour

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson and three other players pulled out of a lawsuit against the PGA Tour Championships last month over its decision to suspend players who participated in the new LIV golf course.

Mickelson, who counts six major championships out of 45 PGA Tour wins in his career, asked to be fired from the suit along with Taylor Gooch, Ian Poulter and Hudson (NYSE:) Swafford.

The players’ decision to withdraw from the lawsuit comes about a month after the PGA Tour, in an effort to reduce the continuing threat posed by LIV Golf, made sweeping changes including an increase in portfolios and a winnings guarantee program.

The $255 million LIV series is being funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which critics say is a way for the country to try to improve its image in the face of criticism of its rights record.

“I am focused on moving forward and very happy to be a part of LIV, while also thankful for my time on the Tour,” Mickelson said in a statement provided by LIV Golf.

“I am delighted that the players on the tour are finally being heard, respected, appreciated and benefited from the recent changes.

“With LIV involved in these issues, players’ rights will be protected, and I no longer feel it is necessary for me to be a part of the proceedings.”

Mickelson and a long list of golfers sued in early August over its decision to suspend players, including Mickelson, for playing on the new Leaf Golf circuit.

It was reported in July that the US Department of Justice was investigating whether the PGA Tour breached antitrust law in fending off the LIV golf course.

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“LIV stands by the players the PGA Tour has treated so badly, but we also recognize that to be successful, we no longer need a wide range of players to be on the suit,” LIV said in a statement.

“We have the backs of our players and will press our case in court against the anti-competitive behavior of the PGA.”

The lawsuit also highlights the fan-favorite status of Mickelson, who took a breather on his own in February when excerpts from an unauthorized biography revealed that he called the Saudis “intimidating” but was willing to go beyond their human rights record.

According to the lawsuit, Mickelson was suspended by the PGA Tour in March for, among other alleged reasons, his attempt to recruit players for LIV Golf and refused his appeal.

The lawsuit says Mickelson applied to get his job back in June, but that request was denied due to his participation in the inaugural LIV event earlier that month.

In addition to denying Mickelson’s request, the lawsuit said the golfer was banned from seeking his replay until March 2023, which was extended until March 2024 after he played a second LIV event.

Mickelson’s ban was only announced in June, shortly after his first LIV event, when the PGA Tour announced its decision to suspend all members who joined the lucrative series and said that anyone else who made the leap would face the same fate.

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