Phil Mickelson and three other golfers have asked to be dismissed as plaintiffs in LIV Golf’s federal antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, according to a notice of voluntary dismissal Tuesday.
Taylor Goch, Ian Poulter and Hudson Swafford have asked to no longer be plaintiffs, accusing the PGA Tour of playing in LIV golf events and using its monopoly power to illegally suspend tournaments.
Mickelson, a six-time major champion, told reporters at a LIV Golf event outside Chicago two weeks ago that LIV Golf will continue to play in 2018. He joined the complaint as a plaintiff on August 27 and is considering withdrawing from the suit.
“I haven’t done anything yet, but now that LIV is involved, it’s not important for me to be a part of it,” he said after playing in the Sept. 15 LIV Golf pro-am at Rich Harvest Farms. I am currently [part of the lawsuit]. I really don’t know what to do. The only reason I stay in it is injury, which I neither want nor need.
Four other players who were originally part of the lawsuit – Abraham Anser, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez and Jason Kokrak – are no longer involved in the case.
Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones and Peter Uihlein along with LIV Golf remain plaintiffs in the case.
“Nothing has changed,” LIV Golf spokesman Jonathan Grella said in a statement Tuesday morning. “The merits of the case — the anti-competitive nature of the PGA Tour — will still stand and be fully tested in court. And we look forward to that. LIV is with the players who made the PGA Tour weak, but we don’t need players in suits anymore to be successful. Our players We stand behind and plead our case against the PGA Tour’s anti-competitive behavior.
Mickelson has been at the center of LIV Golf’s ongoing battle with the PGA Tour for the best players in the world. Backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and two-time Open winner Greg Norman, he was among the first players to sign up front at LIV.
Mickelson complained about the PGA Tour’s “disgusting greed” and argued that professional golfers were independent contractors who could play wherever they wanted.
“I think it’s very important that players have the right to be able to play where they want and where they want and when and where they want,” Mickelson said. “Now that’s part of LIV. [the lawsuit]That is achieved if and when you win.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has suspended more than a dozen members from competing in the LIV Golf Tournament over conflicting event releases. Mickelson said LIV golf is “here to stay” and that competing tours need to figure out how to coexist.
“The PGA Tour has had all the best players in the world for the last 20, 30 years. That’s no longer the case. LIV Golf is here to stay,” Mickelson told reporters on Sept. 17.
“The best solution is to come together. I think the professional golf world is interested in the old historic ‘history of the game’ product that the PGA Tour offers. I think LIV has a great, updated feel. It’s attracting a lot of young people. Both are good for the game of golf and LIV Golf is in the golf world.” “Inclusion in the ecosystem is important. Once that happens, we all start working together. It’s a really positive thing for everyone.”