American Talor Gooch, who left the PGA Tour for the LIV Golf Series, is seeking a temporary restraining order so he can participate in the FedExCup Playoffs. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The PGA Tour requested for a federal judge to deny a temporary restraining order that would allow three LIV Golf Series competitors to participate in the FedExCup Playoffs, case filings showed Monday.
Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones were among 11 LIV Golf Series competitors who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for Northern California.
That group is attempting to overturn suspensions and gain permission to participate in PGA Tour events.
Gooch, Swafford and Jones want the temporary restraining order for what the lawsuit contends are "impermissible suspensions" from the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The PGA Tour announced the 122-player field for the St. Jude Championship, the first leg of the playoffs, Monday morning. Gooch, Swafford and Jones were not included.
A hearing for the players' motion was set for Tuesday in San Jose, Calif. The St. Jude Championship will tee off Thursday in Memphis.
"Despite knowing full well that they would breach Tour Regulations and be suspended for doing so, plaintiffs have joined competing golf league, LIV Golf, which has paid them tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed money supplied by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund to procure their breaches," the PGA Tour said in its motion to oppose the restraining order.
"Plaintiffs now run into court seeking a mandatory injunction to force their way into the Tour's season-ending FedExCup Playoffs, an action that would harm all Tour members that follow the rules. The antitrust laws do not allow plaintiffs to have their cake and eat it, too."
Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf, issued a statement to ESPN on Monday in support of the players in the Saudi-backed series.
"I believe players have the right to play when and where they choose so their talents can take them as far and high as possible," Norman said.
"I believe all players -- whether they choose to play with LIV or the PGA Tour -- understand and appreciate the purpose and importance of the players' legal actions, across the globe.
"The PGA Tour is trying to cast this as 'us' against 'them.' The players know better."
Gooch is No. 20 in the FedExCup standings, while Jones is 65th and Swafford in 67th. The Top 125 players in the standings are eligible to compete in the playoffs, but the PGA Tour set the field at 122 amid the legal battle.
Tommy Fleetwood, Daniel Berger and Lanto Griffin also qualified for the playoffs, but withdrew from the field.
The St. Jude Championship will run through Sunday at TPC Southwind. Rory McIlroy, the No. 3 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the favorite for the first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs.
Swedish Golfer Henrik Stenson (C) raises the trophy on the podium after winning the individual competition at the LIV Golf invitational at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on July 31. Photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo