PGA Tour launches counterclaim in LIV Golf lawsuit

Open champion Cameron Smith (right) said money was “a factor” in joining Greg Norman’s LIV Golf Series.

The Saudi-sponsored LIV Golf Series offered players “astronomical sums of money” to break their contracts so they could help “clean up the sport of Saudi Arabia’s recent history of brutality,” the PGA Tour says.

The PGA Tour has filed a counterclaim against a lawsuit by LIV Golf.

LIV’s lawsuit was filed after the PGA suspended and fined players who quit the Tour to join the breakout series.

LIV alleges that the PGA has violated competition laws.

However, in its counterclaim, the PGA says, “A key component of LIV’s strategy has been to deliberately induce Tour members to break their Tour agreements and play in LIV events, while seeking to maintain Tour memberships and play in major Tour events, so LIV. Tour and its platform are free to ride.”

He accused LIV of cynicism and accused the LIV series of being “an attempt to use LIV players and the game of golf” to improve Saudi Arabia’s public image after criticism. its human rights history.

Six-time winner Phil Mickelson, former world number one Dustin Johnson and Open champion Cameron Smith are among the players joining LIV, which offers $25 million in purses across its events.

Mickelson reportedly received a fee of $200 million to enter the LIV, Johnson said he received $150 million, and entering the series Smith said money was “a factor”. in his decision.

“The Tour has made these claims in a transparent effort to divert attention from its anti-competitive conduct,” LIV Golf said in response to the lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

“We remain confident that the courts and the justice system will correct these wrongs,” he added.

Earlier this week, Mickelson and Ian Poulter were among the four players He asked that LIV be removed from the case.

They said that with LIV joining the claim and representing them, they should no longer pursue the matter as individuals.

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