Team Captain Phil Mickelson of Hy Flyers GC is seen on the 18th tee during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational – Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 17, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
Chris Trotman | LIV Golf | Getty Images
Phil Mickelson and three other LIV golfers have dropped an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
Mickelson and 10 other LIV-affiliated players filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour in August after the tour suspended them for their participation in the rival LIV Golf league. The suit alleged that the PGA Tour suspensions were anti-competitive.
Jonathan Grella, a representative for LIV Golf, said the merits of the lawsuit still stand and LIV will continue to pursue the case.
The PGA Tour declined to comment.
Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Ian Poulter have also dismissed their claims against the PGA Tour, according to a court filed Tuesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
“With LIV’s involvement in these issues, players’ rights will be protected and I no longer feel it necessary for me to be part of the proceedings,” Mickelson said in a statement via LIV Golf.
The three other players also expressed confidence that LIV was adequately pursuing the antitrust claims.
The Justice Department is also investigating the PGA Tour over possible antitrust violations related to LIV Golf.
When the lawsuit was initially filed, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan stood by the decision to suspend the LIV-affiliated players.
“To rejoin our events puts the TOUR and competition at risk to the detriment of our organization, our players, our partners and our fans,” Monahan wrote in a memo to tour members.
LIV Golf has also been the subject of research. The competition is funded in part by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Mickelson has been criticized for his ties to the kingdom and has acknowledged the country’s human rights abuses.
Critics have also termed the league as an attempt at “sports washes” to improve Saudi Arabia’s image.
Earlier this month, Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, visited Capitol Hill to “educate members about LIV’s business model and counter the Tour’s anti-competitive efforts,” Grella said.