Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy subpoenaed as golf civil war intensifies

JULY 11: Tiger Woods of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Ireland interact on the 18th during the Celebration of Champions Challenge during a practice round ahead of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 11, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland – Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy summoned by LIV Golf as civil war intensifies – GETTY IMAGES

The legal dispute surrounding golf’s bitter division has escalated further after Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were served with a subpoena to reveal details of a PGA Tour players’ meeting last week.

The meeting was followed by a $100 million series of new proposals for the PGA Tour, which include four new “elevated events” with at least $20 million in prize money, a $50 million boost to player bonuses and a minimum annual payout of $500,000 for competing golfers. in at least 15 tournaments.

It followed the launch of the £1.6bn Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour, which is staging eight invitational events in 2022 with prize money of £200m and converting to a championship from next year.

Larry Klayman, an attorney representing the lead plaintiff in a case against the PGA Tour, has proposed renaming the tour “LIV Light” and wants to release documents and recordings or tapes of a meeting held last week in Delaware at the BMW Championship .

A press release says that “conversations are believed to have taken place which are alleged … to be anti-competitive and in violation of antitrust laws against the LIV Golf Tour and its players.” The press release says Woods received notice to file on Sept. 21, McIlroy on Sept. 22 and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan on Sept. 27 in Jupiter Florida.

“This is not a personal ‘thing’ against Woods, McIlroy and Monahan,” said Klayman, who does not represent LIV Golf. “This is to obtain information about what happened at the players’ meeting and generally about the allegations in our complaint that the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and their commissioners Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley, allegedly colluded in restraint of trade and antitrust legislation. laws that will harm the LIV Golf Tour and its players.”

Klayman also described Wednesday’s announcement of increased prize money, particularly guaranteed payouts for top players, as an attempt “to imitate LIV Golf while continuing to harm LIV and its players, among other alleged anti-competitive practices, by attempting to deny them world ranking points to compete in major tournaments such as the Masters, the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship.”

He added: “One can now call the new PGA Tour ‘LIV Light.’ We look forward to Woods, McIlroy and Monahan telling the truth, under oath, under oath. Their testimony is not only relevant but also critical.”

Norman accuses Monaghan of copying his “work”.

Greg Norman, LIV’s chief executive, has also accused Monaghan of copying his “house” after the latest PGA Tour plans were released.

Telegraph Sport exclusively revealed earlier this month that Open champion Cameron Smith is among those set to announce a move to LIV Golf in a deal worth more than $100 million.

That has now been preempted by the PGA Tour’s broad reform package and follows Woods and McIlroy’s involvement last week in emergency talks with other players.

Monahan described the commitment of top golfers to play all 12 “elevated events” as “unprecedented” and stressed that there would be no immediate return path for those players already on the LIV Tour.

Asked if he would consider lifting the suspensions, Monahan said: “No, they’ve joined the LIV Golf Series and made that commitment. Every player has a choice.”

He added that “our top players are firmly behind the Tour” and outlined new financial plans that also include a guaranteed $5,000 in travel and tournament expenses for players who miss the cut. “Today is the culmination of an enhanced partnership between the Tour and the players, and among the players themselves,” Monahan added.

Whether it will be enough to stop the exodus remains uncertain, with Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson – who immediately stepped down as Ryder Cup captain – among those already out.

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