It’s been a busy few days on the LIV golf front.
On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that 11 LIV Golf Invitational Series players, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour in response to their banishment from the U.S. circuit after jumping ship and joining the Saudi-backed series.
They want to play PGA Tour events, even though that would add to their already existing 14 tournament schedule LIV has on the docket for 2023, ultimately going against many of their main arguments for joining the up-start league — we want to play less golf and spend more time with our families!
Several new items have come to light since the release of the lawsuit, one being that Augusta National officials apparently tried to discourage players from joining LIV.
But the most fascinating are text messages between Sergio Garcia and Greg Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf.
On May 31, Garcia was announced as one of the headline names for the first LIV event in London. But, according to these text messages, Garcia was planning his jump months in advance.
“I just wanted to see how things are going with the League cause it seems like a lot of those guys that were loving it and excited about it last week, now are sh**ing their pants,” Garcia wrote in a text on February 11.
Then, nearly a week later, Garcia wrote this: “Hi Sharky! It’s official, the Tour has told our managers this week that whoever signs with the League, is ban from the Tour for life! I don’t know how are we gonna get enough good players to join the League under this conditions.”
In response, Norman was adamant that the Tour couldn’t pull such a move: “They cannot ban you for one day let alone life. It is a shallow threat.”
Here is a look at all the messages:
Interesting to see how insistent Norman was (in these texts with Sergio) that the PGA Tour wouldn’t and couldn’t suspend players.
“They cannot ban you for one day let alone life.” pic.twitter.com/foSDSIOg2L
— Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) August 5, 2022
On June 9, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan banned 17 players from the PGA Tour after they played LIV London. Garcia is among the former Tour pros who gave up his membership.
Life comes at you fast.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of wide-ranging human rights abuses, including politically motivated killings, torture, forced disappearances and inhumane treatment of prisoners. And members of the royal family and Saudi government were accused of involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist.