Judge sets Jan. 2024 trial for LIV suit vs. tour

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Players from Saudi-funded LIV Golf who have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour will be waiting nearly 16 months for the case to go to trial.

U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman on Thursday set the trial for Jan. 8, 2024.

Depending on whether LIV attorneys proceed with a preliminary injunction — the judge said she had room on her schedule in late September or early October — that means PGA Tour players who have been suspended for signing with the rival league could go through another year of not being allowed at PGA Tour events.

Freeman last week denied a temporary restraining order sought by Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones who wanted to compete in the PGA Tour’s postseason.

LIV attorneys had wanted a trial date for Aug. 7, 2023, arguing the case needed to be expedited. PGA Tour attorneys said it was not reasonable to adequately prepare. They noted it coincided with the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs and make it difficult for PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and other executives whose testimony likely would be required.

Freeman set a July 23, 2023, date for summary judgment, at which point the tour is likely to ask that the case be dismissed.

The lawsuit was filed two weeks ago by 11 players, although Carlos Ortiz has asked that his name be removed from the lawsuit. LIV attorneys indicated it would need discovery material from nine players, indicating another might have dropped out of the lawsuit.

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