The war between PGA Tour and LIV Golf has devolved even further with 11 defecting golfers including the prominent Phil Mickelson filing a lawsuit against the Tour over their ban from the circuit.

Six-time major champion Mickelson is leading the lawsuit which includes 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau and European Ryder Cup veteran Ian Poulter, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, and Matt Jones, among others

“As part of its carefully orchestrated plan to defeat competition, the Tour has threatened lifetime bans on players who play in even a single LIV Golf event,” the golfers expressed in the complaint.

The lawsuit by LIV Golf members against the PGA Tour also asks the court to declare punishments imposed on them illegal and to award damages and attorneys fees.

PGA Tour suspended Mickelson in March for trying to recruit players to LIV Golf among other reasons.

According to the lawsuit, Mickelson applied for reinstatement in June but his request was denied due to his participation in the inaugural LIV event earlier that month. The American was forbidden from seeking reinstatement until March 2023, which was then extended further to March 2024 after he played the second LIV event.

Meanwhile, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, and Matt Jones are also asking for a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit which would allow them to compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Six players, who are part of the LIV Golf events, are eligible for the PGA’s postseason due to their rankings which starts next week but have been barred from the competition after the implication of the new rules. 

PGA has shown no indication of backing down from a legal battle.

“These suspended players – who are now Saudi Golf League employees – have walked away from the TOUR and now want back in,” Commissioner Jay Monahan wrote in a letter to members. “We intend to make our case clearly and vigorously.”

PGA suspended the Golfers as it does not allow exemptions for tournaments the same week of a PGA Tour event or for the tournaments played in North America.

LIV’s last two events were held in Oregon and New Jersey which violates PGA’s rules.

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