Rory McIlroy says ‘common sense prevailed’ in court ruling against players on Saudi-backed LIV Golf series

Last week, 11 golfers from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series filed an antitrust lawsuit challenging their suspensions by the PGA Tour.

Three of those golfers — Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones — were seeking temporary restraining orders so they could play in this week’s first playoff event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

“From my perspective, common sense prevailed and I thought it was the right decision,” McIlroy told reporters. “It allows us to focus on the important things, which is golf. We can all move on and not have that side show for the next few weeks, which is good.

“I don’t feel like it’s my job to be here and defend the PGA Tour or be a spokesperson, that’s just the role I found myself in.

“I feel like when I get inside the ropes I feel like no one can get to me and that’s really nice. It’s made golf more enjoyable – in fact, it’s probably helped my golf.”

According to the PGA Tour, any player who joined LIV Golf has been declared ineligible to play in the tournament since early June.

In addition to the three players whose temporary restraining order was denied, the golfers who are part of the antitrust lawsuit are Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein.

LIV Golf released a short statement on Tuesday, expressing their disappointment with the judge’s decision. “Nobody wins by banning golfers from playing,” officials said.

CEO Greg Norman told Fox News last week that LIV Golf officials offered Tiger Woods around $700-800 million to join the show, which he declined.

The series is backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – and has pledged to award $250 million in total in price.

The FedEx St. Jude PGA Tour Championship begins Thursday, while LIV Golf’s next three-day event is scheduled to begin Sept. 2 in Boston.

CNN’s Jill Martin contributed reporting.


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