After requesting records of communications involving members of Augusta National to assist with its lawsuit against the PGA Tour, LIV Golf was denied in court on Monday, according to Golfweek.
The reported request came as part of subpoenas that LIV Golf attorneys dished out to former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and past and present policy board directors of the PGA Tour. LIV sought communications between those parties “and any member of Augusta National relating to a New Tour, including but not limited to LIV Golf,” per Golfweek.
Lawyers representing LIV Golf attempted to make a case that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Stephens Bank CEO Warren Stephens were pushing the Department of Justice to avoid investigating the PGA Tour. On Monday, though, Magistrate Judge Susan Van Keulen struck down the request in the U.S. District Court of Northern California.
“The cited documents do not implicate in any way the Subpoenaed Parties. Nor do they reflect communications by or between the identified additional targets,” Van Keulen’s ruling read. “Indeed, for the most part, the identified targets appear merely as names on lists or in other oblique references made by others.
“Any connection between an identified target and a Subpoenaed Party, based on the cited documents, is highly speculative.”
LIV Golf attorneys accused the PGA Tour of illegally suspending players that were competing in LIV, with their most recent grievance surrounding the Tour’s threats of preventing golfers from playing in the Masters.
However, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley fired back, confirming in December that past Masters champions such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed — who are all currently playing on the LIV circuit — would be welcomed to play in the 2023 Masters.
“We will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament,” Ridley wrote. “Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it.
“Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.”
Ridley did note that there could be revisions of the eligibility criteria.
–Field Level Media