The United States Department of Justice is now in the middle of the worldwide golf feud. They are currently investigating the PGA Tour to see if it engaged in “anticompetitive behavior” against LIV Golf.
Within a report by The Wall Street Journal, it was confirmed that the investigation is taking place. In addition, current players’ agents have received inquiries from the organization.
The DOJ is looking into the PGA Tour’s bylaws governing players’ participation in outside tournaments. Commissioner Jay Monahan has suspended golfers who have defected to LIV Golf from playing in PGA Tour events. Under the current bylaws, players may play in a number of outside tournaments if granted exemptions. But players leaving for LIV Golf events did not receive exemptions.
In 1994, the PGA Tour was under the Federal Trade Commission’s microscope for a similar reason. The FTC started an investigation when the aforementioned bylaw was put into place, but they ultimately dropped the probe.
“This was not unexpected,” a PGA Tour spokesman said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal. “We went through this in 1994, and we are confident in a similar outcome.”
The PGA Tour rolls on this week with The Open Championship from July 14-17 at the Old Course at St Andrews. For all the talk about Tiger Woods returning and Rory McIlroy’s soundbites, Xander Schauffele currently is the hottest player on the planet.
Schauffele last won the Travelers Championship and Genesis Scottish Open in his past two appearances and brought in nearly $3 million. In-between, he took home the JP McManus Pro-Am title in Limerick, Ireland, as well.
Greg Norman Predicted Lawsuits Against PGA Tour
Back in February 2022, LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman wrote a letter to Monahan. It eluded to future lawsuits against the PGA Tour.
“Simply put, you can’t ban players from playing golf. Players have the right and the freedom to play where we like,” Norman said. “When you try to bluff and intimidate players by bullying and threatening them, you are guilty of going too far, being unfair, and you likely are in violation of the law.”
“This is just the beginning,” he continued. “It certainly is not the end.”