Judge escalates PGA Tour's counterclaim against LIV Golf with addition of defendants – Golf Channel
A California U.S. District Court judge has escalated the antitrust lawsuit filed against the PGA Tour by adding the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and its governor as defendants in the Tour’s counterclaim suit.
Last week, Judge Susan van Keulen ruled that the PIF, which owns 93 percent of LIV Golf according to court documents, and its governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, must submit to discovery in the antitrust case and counterclaim as “third parties” but the addition of the fund and its governor as defendants promises to complicate an already complex lawsuit.
The antitrust lawsuit was filed against the Tour last August by a group of players who had been suspended by the circuit for participating in LIV Golf events. The Tour responded with a counterclaim that LIV Golf interfered with the circuit’s existing contracts with players who joined the breakaway league and subpoenaed the PIF and Al-Rumayyan for information related to the creation of the new league and the recruitment of players.
Tuesday’s ruling by Judge Beth Labson Freeman in the Northern District of California now adds the PIF to the suit despite the fund’s argument that it’s nothing more than an investor in LIV Golf and has no control over the day-to-day operations of the breakaway league, which begins its first full season this week in Mexico. The fund has also argued that it is immune to U.S. jurisdiction.
Among the arguments against adding the PIF as a defendant in the counterclaim is how the addition of a sovereign foreign wealth fund would create an “undue delay” in the antitrust case, which is on an expedited schedule and set for a January 2024 trial. Judge Labson Freeman dismissed that argument writing, “Any delay LIV attributes to this amended pleading is not likely to outlast the delay caused by the subpoena dispute over PIF and [Al-Rumayyan’s] discovery and LIV’s anticipated motion seeking review of Judge van Keulen’s order.”
Judge Labson Freeman also ruled in a separate order that much of the motion to add PIF as a defendant will remain sealed with the exception of any discovery involving LIV’s relationship with PIF and its control over the league.
“Alleged control over LIV goes to the heart of the counterclaim, thus rendering the public interest in access to the information especially great,” Labson Freeman wrote.
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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Senators
BOSTON – The Bruins will be back on home ice on Tuesday night as they return from a lengthy five-game road trip to host the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Boston has bounced back to win three straight after a brief lull in its record-breaking season produced a stretch of three losses in four games.
“Hold ourselves accountable,” Matt Grzelcyk said of how the Bruins have rebounded quickly from the downturn. “And I feel like that Winnipeg game, we got a huge goal second shift, I think that just kind of starts getting things going the right way – and having that more attacking mentality offensively, defensively, taking time and space away from them. And I think it was a good transition and that’s when we could kind of overwhelm teams.”
Here’s everything else you need to know ahead of the 7 p.m. ET puck drop on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub:
On the Injury Front
Derek Forbort did not take part in the morning skate and is unlikely to play again before the postseason, per coach Jim Montgomery. The blue liner suffered a lower-body injury after blocking a shot on March 16 in Winnipeg.
“We do not expect him back before the end of the regular season,” said Montgomery, who added that Forbort does not require surgery.
Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno, both of whom have been out for nearly a month with lower-body injuries of their own, have resumed skating. Foligno took the ice on his own ahead of Tuesday’s morning skate, while Hall joined his teammates donning a maroon non-contact jersey.
“They’re checking boxes and are progressing well, but there’s no timeline for them yet,” said Montgomery. “I still think they are a ways away. It’s not at the point where I’m starting to think about lines and stuff.”
When they do return, however, Montgomery is eager to have plenty of options up front.
“I don’t think it’s a problem. It’s a great situation,” he said. “You’ll get to see when they get back who plays with who, and a deep lineup is going to get even deeper. So, it’s a great problem to have.”
After sitting out Sunday’s game in Buffalo, David Krejci (soreness) and Dmitry Orlov (defense rotation) will be back in the lineup. A.J. Greer and Jakub Zboril will be the healthy scratches.
The Senators, on the second end of a back-to-back, snapped a five-game losing streak on Monday night with a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh. The recent downturn has pushed Ottawa (34-31-5, 73 points) six points behind Florida for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
After winning the first two games against the Bruins this season – both on home ice – the Senators fell to Boston, 3-1, on Feb. 20 at TD Garden.
“I think they won [on Monday night], so they’re probably feeling pretty good about themselves,” said Grzelcyk. “Every game probably feels pretty close to a playoff game and they haven’t been there in a few years. They’ve got a lot to prove and they’ve got a lot of young talent…a good power play.
“We’ve got to stay disciplined, something we’ve lacked in a little bit recently. I’ve got to be mindful of that and I don’t want to give them any easy opportunities. And they played last night, so get on them early and make them work for it.”
Ottawa is paced by Tim Stutzle, who leads the club with 35 goals and 78 points in 66 games. Brady Tkachuk (30-42-72) has also hit the 30-goal, 70-point plateau, while Claude Giroux (28-30-68), Alex DeBrincat (21-35-56), and Drake Batherson (21-34-55) have reached the 20-goal mark.
Tuesday’s Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jake DeBrusk
Pavel Zacha – David Krejci – David Pastrnak
Tyler Bertuzzi – Charlie Coyle – Trent Frederic
Jakub Lauko – Tomas Nosek – Garnet Hathaway
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo
Dmitry Orlov – Connor Clifton
Linus Ullmark/Jeremy Swayman
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