The PGA Tour is preparing itself for an imminent legal challenge from the LIV Rebels trying to win the right to participate in next month’s £60million FedEx Cup playoffs.
Lawyers’ intervention would be another escalation in a dispute that a former US Ryder Cup captain has claimed, even threatening to boycott Tour players to majors to oust Saudi-paid players can be forced.
This staggering claim was made by Davis Love III, a highly respected figure in the locker room who has left his country on two occasions in the biennial dust-up, most recently America’s 2016 win, and Joe Leading Team USA again in September. President’s Cup.
Love has heard the Tour’s whispers being dragged to court next week and believes it will exacerbate the ever-increasing divide between the two groups of professionals, players who resist the temptations of the LIV Golf Series. have done, they fear they may still be able to. Despite getting 10s, and in some cases adding millions to them to join rival leagues.
For bands of loyalists love is a solution if they feel powerless. “Here’s the biggest lever and it’s not a good lever,” he told Sports Illustrated. “If a group of veterans and a group of top current players align with 150 people on the Tour, and we say, ‘Guess what? We’re not playing’, that solves it, right?’ If the LIV guys play at the US Open, we’re not playing. If they sue in court, and they win, well, we’re not playing’. You know, the US Open won’t happen. It’s like a baseball strike.”
It will come as no surprise that LIV removes lawyers, as expected, with the Tour extending its ban to a three-week end-of-season series, with the winner rewarded with a check of £15m It decides who retains their full rights to play.
As it stands, there are two events left in the regular campaign – the Rocket Mortgage Classic which ends on Sunday and next week’s Wyndham Championship – there are 10 on the LIV roster that will qualify for the first event in Memphis in a fortnight, including Brooks Koepka’s biggest names (Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Sergio Garcia are among those who have already resigned their Tour memberships).
Earlier this month, Ian Poulter overturned his DP World Tour ban for the Scottish Open in an 11th-hour decision in which a judge declared that Wentworth headquarters had not followed due process and received a suspension and £100,000. I should have waited till the overriding appeal. The fine was fixed.
The PGA Tour went even further than their European counterparts, issuing indefinite suspensions and, even though they are under investigation by the Justice Department over anti-competition laws, Sagars is almost duty-bound to comply in the playoffs.
And from here the feelings can grow even more. Imagine if a LIV convert like Talor Gooch — easily placed 20th in the FedEx standings — earns permission to compete and walks away with a record payday.
There’s no doubt that Love’s “major strike” suggestion is apocalyptic but there’s no doubt that passion is bubbling up. Luke Donald, the Englishman who Telegraph Sport revealed exclusively on Thursday, will be named Europe’s captain early next week, taking a swipe at Henrik Stenson for signing a contract that said That he would not switch to LIV, just before doing so last week in £40m deal. “I won’t do a Heinrich,” promised Donald.
Stenson made his series debut at the Trump Nationals here on Friday and given the conditions, the world number 173 took a shot at seven-under 64 to share the first-round lead with Patrick Reed in the 54-holer. Made a remarkable performance.
He could help feeling the “enormous disappointment” after he was dropped from another £3m role in Sweden’s coffers. “It’s been a tough 10 days, not much fun, but I was able to concentrate and I will take credit for that,” the 46-year-old said. “It’s the best I’ve played all year.”
Donald Trump was in attendance and although Phil Mickelson was upset – the left-hander was forced to back down from his opening T-shot when a member of the gallery shouted “Do it for the Saudi royal family! ” – Planned protests by 9/11 groups demonstrating against a Saudi-funded tournament at a course owned by a former US president just 50 miles from Ground Zero Never got close to a rally. New Jersey.
Trump would have been happy to see a lot of “MAGA” caps and t-shirts, but, in reality, the crowds were less than in the first two £20m events in Hertfordshire and Oregon and little in the way of atmosphere.