Why is the PGA Tour under investigation? What’s happening with LIV Golf and PGA Tour?
The Justice Department is investigating the PGA Tour for what LIV Golf identifies as “illegal monopoly.” Everything you need to know about LIV vs PGA battle
The PGA Tour is under investigation by the Department of Justice, according to a report, to determine whether it engaged in “anti-competitive” behavior regarding its standpoint against the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.
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The new golf league believes the PGA Tour’s decision to ban players from competing on the Tour if they join LIV golf is monopolistic, and so they were prepared to “punish” the PGA Tour- just not by themselves.
Earlier this year, LIV called out the PGA Tour, which is the organizer of the main men’s professional golf tours, for their actions, bringing attention to their anti-LIV standpoint, and adding that it would " likely cause the federal government to investigate and punish the PGA Tour’s unlawful practices.”
What has the PGA Tour done to players who left?
The PGA Tour has suspended players who have challenged tour regulations and participated in two LIV Golf events without the Tour’s consent. That’s when the chief executive of LIV Golf Greg Norman, whose major shareholder is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, reprimanded the tour’s stance as an “illegal monopoly.”
The PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan however, has consistently made it clear that his organization is ready to stand up to legal review, including any lawsuit filed by a suspended PGA Tour member, which is expected.
What did LIV Golf do with PGA Tour former players?
LIV Golf, which has hosted two of eight events planned for this year, has gone after a number of prominent players from the PGA Tour luring them with massive upfront payments and appearance fees. Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson, reportedly received $200 million, after which he was heavily criticized for joining the new league.
Among other recognizable players who have left the PGA Tour for the LIV Golf series are Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Sergio García and Louis Oosthuizen.
Tiger Woods criticizes current LIV players
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, Tiger Woods criticized the PGA Tour players who were persuaded to join the LIV League, saying he doesn’t understand how could they do so.
Following LIV Golf’s huge payout amounts, Monahan announced late last month that big increases in prize money are coming to PGA Tour events, and added that the tour would “ultimately come out of the current challenge stronger because of our loyalty and support of our players and fans.”
As Monahan remains confident of the tour’s position in its battle with LIV Golf, the DOJ will now be contacting former PGA Tour players who left for LIV Golf to better get to a conclusion.