PGA Tour files federal suit vs. LIV’s Saudi backers

Golf

The PGA Tour filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, governor of the fund that finances LIV Golf, according to court records.

The complaint was filed under seal in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. The PGA Tour’s attorneys filed 50 exhibits and a proposed order for a motion to compel.

Sources told ESPN on Friday that the PGA Tour’s attorneys are attempting to obtain a motion to compel from a federal judge that would require Al-Rumayyan to be deposed as part of another federal lawsuit in California involving the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

The motion to compel would also require the Public Investment Fund, which is reportedly worth more than $500 billion, to release documents to PGA Tour attorneys through discovery.

Al-Rumayyan is also chairman of the English football club Newcastle United and the Saudi-owned petroleum company Saudi Aramco.

On Sept. 29, the PGA Tour filed a countersuit against LIV Golf, accusing it of interfering with its contracts with players. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has suspended more than 30 players for competing in LIV Golf tournaments without conflicting-event releases.

Eleven LIV Golf players filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour on Aug. 3, accusing the tour of using its monopoly powers to squash competition. Three players who were suspended by the tour, Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones and Peter Uihlein, are still plaintiffs in that case, along with LIV Golf. Eight other players, including six-time major champion Phil Mickelson, had been plaintiffs but asked a judge to be removed from the case.

The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the PGA Tour’s alleged monopolistic actions in dealing with LIV Golf and its players — allegations the tour has denied.

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