A judge ruled Tuesday that the PGA Tour must provide more information about a previously released list of entities contacted regarding LIV Golf.
In a legal victory for LIV Golf, the PGA Tour must release more information about who its representatives have spoken to regarding the Saudi-backed league.
A written order issued Tuesday by United States Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen, U.S. District Court Northern District of California, granted LIV Golf a favorable ruling on what they should receive regarding Interrogatory No. 1, a question posed by LIV Golf to the PGA Tour in discovery.
Interrogatory No. 1 asked the Tour to identify everyone who communicated on behalf of the PGA Tour with any other person (including Tour members) or entity regarding any new tour.
The Tour had been unwilling to fully comply with the request, citing that LIV continues to ask for additional information that is not only beyond the scope of the court’s discovery rulings, but also beyond what is generally required for an interrogatory response.
The Tour had released a list of 179 different golf entities with whom they had discussions with, including golf governing bodies, tours, broadcasters, sponsors, vendors, agents and 71 players.
The list of players included a number of top players on the PGA Tour and many who have left to join LIV Golf, plus Hall of Famers Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods. Also on the list was former Tour winner Anthony Kim, who mysteriously walked away from golf a decade ago and has not played competitively since.
In a 48-minute hearing on Monday afternoon in her San Jose, California, courtroom, Judge van Keulen clearly disagreed with the Tour and found for LIV Golf, forcing the Tour to comply with LIV Golf’s wishes.
In her ruling on Tuesday, Judge van Keulen allowed LIV Golf to serve additional interrogatories asking that for each authorized person identified in the Tour’s response previously to Interrogatory No. 1, the Tour identify each entity and person with whom the authorized person had verbal communications on any of the agreed-upon subjects and the years of such communications. Verbal communications between authorized persons and players must be included in the Tour’s response.
Put simply, the Tour must name all the people that all of its representatives spoke to within an entity, not just the entity itself, such as other tours, sponsors and broadcasters.
In previous court documents, the Tour listed 31 authorized persons that could speak on its behalf.
Judge van Keulen also expanded the discovery by granting LIV Golf an additional interrogatory that asks the Tour to identify any director with whom an authorized person had verbal communications with the agreed-upon subjects.
The Tour had suggested in previous court documents that the Tour’s independent directors do not constitute statements on behalf of the Tour, even if authorized persons of the Tour have had communications with those individuals.
The court clearly found that argument wanting.
The Tour has until Nov. 15 to comply with additional interrogatories requested and in cases where written communications are identified, they must be made available by that date as well.