DOJ Investigating PGA Tour over Potential Antitrust Violations amid Battle with Trump-Endorsed LIV Golf

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the PGA you over possible antitrust violations amid its ongoing battle with the President Donald Trump-endorsed LIV Golf Series.

The DOJ is investigating whether the PGA Tour engaged in anticompetitive behavior as it battles the upstart, Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit, the PGA Tour confirmed to The Wall Street Journal.

“Players’ agents have received inquiries from the DOJ’s antitrust division involving both the PGA Tour’s bylaws governing players’ participation in other golf events and the PGA Tour’s actions in recent months relating to LIV Golf, according to a person familiar with those inquiries,” the WSJ added.

As Slay News has previously reported, the PGA Tour suspended all players who are playing in the new LIV Golf Series.

Many of the players gave up their membership to join the new league but some were hoping to play both.

PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan sent a memo to the PGA TOUR’s membership that said:

“Their participation in the Saudi Golf League/LIV Golf event is in violation of our Tournament Regulations.

“The same fate holds true for any other players who participate in future Saudi Golf League events in violation of our Regulations.

“Also in accordance with PGA TOUR Tournament Regulations, the players who have resigned their membership will be removed from the FedExCup Points List when the official statistics following the RBC Canadian Open are posted on Sunday evening.

“These players will not be permitted to play in PGA TOUR tournaments as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or any other eligibility category.

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“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons.

“But they can’t demand the same PGA TOUR membership benefits, considerations, opportunities, and platform as you.

“That expectation disrespects you, our fans, and our partners.

“Trust that we’re prepared to deal with those questions and we’ll approach them in the same we have this entire process: by being transparent and respecting the PGA TOUR regulations that you helped establish.

“I am certain our fans and partners – who are surely tired of all this talk of money, money and more money – will continue to be entertained and compelled by the world-class competition you display each and every week, where there are true consequences for every shot you take and your rightful place in history whenever you reach that elusive winner’s circle.

“This week, the RBC Canadian Open is a shining example of what you have created with the PGA TOUR: a star-studded field, a committed sponsor, sold-out hospitality offerings, record crowds and a global broadcast distribution.

“These elements are part of the TOUR’s DNA, built by the likes of Jack and Arnie, furthered by Tiger and countless others – whose legacies are inextricably linked, with each other and with the PGA TOUR. This collective legacy can’t be bought or sold,” he wrote.

The PGA issued a statement that said:

“In accordance with the PGA TOUR’s Tournament Regulations, the players competing this week without releases are suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA TOUR tournament play, including the Presidents Cup.

“This also applies to all tours sanctioned by the PGA TOUR: the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.”

The following players are suspended or otherwise no longer eligible for PGA TOUR tournament play:

  • Sergio Garcia*
  • Talor Gooch
  • Branden Grace*
  • Dustin Johnson*
  • Matt Jones
  • Martin Kaymer*
  • Graeme McDowell*
  • Phil Mickelson
  • Kevin Na*
  • Andy Ogletree
  • Louis Oosthuizen*
  • Turk Pettit*
  • Ian Poulter
  • Charl Schwartzel*
  • Hudson Swafford
  • Peter Uihlein
  • Lee Westwood*

(*- have informed the PGA TOUR that they have resigned their membership)

The full list of events in the LIV series is below:

  • 1-3 July: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club – Portland, USA
  • 29-31 July: Trump National Golf Club Bedminster – New Jersey, USA
  • 2-4 September: The International – Boston, USA
  • 16-18 September: Rich Harvest Farms – Chicago, USA
  • 7-9 October: Stonehill Golf Club – Bangkok, Thailand
  • 14-16 October: Royal Greens Golf Club – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • 27-30 October: Team Championship, Trump National Doral, Miami, USA

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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