PGA Tour attorneys file motion to unseal LIV Golf contracts

PGA Tour attorneys file motion to unseal LIV Golf contracts
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Less than a week after a U.S. District Court judge set an ambitious schedule for the antitrust lawsuit filed against the PGA Tour, the legal wrangling began and set the stage for what promises to be a brutal discovery process.

A motion filed Monday by attorneys for the Tour outlined why the contracts players have signed with LIV Golf should be more public.

“Plaintiffs have come nowhere close to establishing ‘compelling reasons’ to seal this information,” the motion reads. “Many of the provisions [the suspended players] seek to seal are highly relevant to the core issues in this litigation.”

The antitrust lawsuit was filed this month in U.S. District Court Northern District of California by a group of 11 players who have been suspended by the PGA Tour for playing the Saudi-backed LIV events. That group of players has now been reduced to nine, with Carlos Ortiz and Pat Perez dropping out of the lawsuit.

Attorneys for the suspended players submitted heavily redacted contracts they had signed with LIV Golf and the Tour’s motion seeks to unseal much of those deals, including non-financial terms of the deals like playing commitments for LIV events and the players’ ability to play in competing events.

Heavily redacted versions of player contracts with LIV Golf were published late Wednesday, following last week’s hearing.

The Tour’s motion also argues that LIV’s tournament rules and regulations, which were also submitted during an earlier hearing for a temporary restraining order, should be unsealed.

“Nothing in [the players’] supporting declarations suggests that basic tournament rules and regulations amount to trade secrets,” the motion read. “On the contrary, [the players] filed the PGA Tour’s player handbook and regulations on this court’s public docket as part of their complaint, and the Tour has not sought to redact or otherwise seal the material.”

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