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PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan on Wednesday encouraged members of the ring to speak out against their ‘ex-colleagues’ After 11 players fled to LIV Golf filed a monopoly lawsuit against the tour.
Many of them jumped on the open invitation.
PGA 2022 runner-up Will Zalatori did not seem to welcome the idea of those players who either quit their membership to join the Saudi-backed rival league or played without being released to join the Tour.
He called their decision “harmful” to the PGA Tour.
“The part that I’m feeling a little disappointed with is the fact that they obviously made their choice to go there – they’re playing a direct competition tour and they want to come back here and play…what are they doing, going there, it hurts our tour. So, you can’t have it. Either way,” Zalatores said across the golf course.
Similarly, four-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Kessner described it as a “difficult situation”, adding that while he does not have “hard feelings” for those who Join the competition ring, He thinks they should “stick to where they’ve moved”.
“Obviously they didn’t like anything about our tour, so they went on a different tour, and now they’re trying to fight to get back on our tour. That doesn’t mean much to me,” said Kessner.
Phil Mickelson and 10 other LIV golfers have filed an antitrust lawsuit claiming PGA Tour suspended indefinitely It was intended to harm their jobs. In addition to the complaint, three other players — Taylor Gotsch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones — filed a temporary restraining order to compete in next week’s FedEx Cup playoffs, arguing that they qualified before joining Leaf Golf.
JT Poston, who joined the tour in 2015, expressed concern that the lawsuit would eventually affect the players they had previously competed with.
“When you have these lawsuits and things like that, the money that’s being used to fight those lawsuits and to support those cases, I think, comes out of our pockets – the guys who stuck to the tour, and it’s a tour that has done a lot of good to a lot of guys here, He told the golf channel.
Other players have taken to social media to share the same sentiment.
“It’s really sad that 3 LIV players are trying to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs,” Michael Kim said in a tweet Wednesday. “I made the decision to LIV, just stay there. You took the money which is good but it’s a shame. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have to say yes.”
“I have no issues with all these guys taking money and playing LIV. If that’s what they want to do great,” he added in a separate tweet. “Just don’t try to force you to play FedEx playoff events because LIV lawyers offered to do so and legal fees were paid.”
“Some people seem to want their cake and eat it too,” said Joel Dahmin. “Please step away in your own fantasy land. Sincerely, most trekking players.”
In an open letter addressed to the tour, Monahan vowed to fight “vigorously” against the lawsuit to protect the PGA Tour.
The commissioner wrote, “This is your run on the premise that we work together for the good and growth of the organization…and then reap the rewards. It seems your former colleagues have forgotten an important aspect of that equation.”