Cameron Smith, the world’s No. 2-ranked participant and 2022 Open champion, is reportedly amongst a brand new group of PGA Tour gamers set to defect to LIV Golf.
Marc Leishman, Harold Varner III, Joaquin Niemann, Anirban Lahiri and Cameron Tringale are additionally anticipated to affix the brand new circuit, in accordance with the report by ESPN on Saturday. The report stated that Mito Pereira can be contemplating becoming a member of LIV.
Smith can be the highest-ranked participant to depart the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. The 29-year-old Australian has gained six PGA Tour occasions, in addition to The Gamers in March.
In the meantime, LIV Golf has joined the antitrust lawsuit towards the PGA Tour in an amended criticism through which 4 gamers have eliminated their names.
That leaves seven gamers — most notably Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau — together with LIV Golf as plaintiffs within the lawsuit. The 4 who withdrew their names are Carlos Ortiz, Abraham Ancer, Pat Perez and Jason Kokrak.
The amended criticism was filed Friday afternoon within the U.S. District Courtroom in Northern California. Three gamers nonetheless on the lawsuit — Matt Jones, Talor Gooch and Hudson Swafford — beforehand sought a brief restraining order to play within the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The decide denied their request two weeks in the past.
The lawsuit claims the PGA Tour has used monopoly energy to attempt to squash competitors and has unfairly suspended gamers.
Greg Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf, has stated the league would absolutely help the gamers in any authorized motion they pursued. LIV Golf, backed by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, now’s immediately concerned.
Earlier within the week, the PGA made its boldest response but to LIV, revealing a plan for the perfect gamers to decide to a 20-tournament schedule through which they are going to compete towards each other as much as 17 instances for common purses of $20 million.
Associated: Prime PGA Tour gamers to decide to 20-event huge cash slate
“This isn’t some kind of renegade group attempting to take some kind of energy seize of the PGA Tour,” stated Rory McIlroy, a player-director on the tour board. “That is, ‘OK, how can we make this tour higher for everybody that’s going to play on it now and everybody that’s going to play on the PGA Tour going ahead.’”
Of the sweeping adjustments PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan laid out, probably the most vital was what got here out of a non-public assembly of 23 prime gamers final week: a brand new mannequin that assures the perfect play in the identical tournaments extra usually.
Veteran golfer Lee Westwood responded to the information harshly, saying that the PGA adjustments have been merely an effort to “copy” LIV Golf.
The Related Press contributed to this story.
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