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Patrick Reed Refiles $750million Golf Channel Lawsuit

Golf Monthly logo Golf Monthly 9/29/2022 Jeff Kimber
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Patrick Reed has refiled his $750million defamation lawsuit against the Golf Channel and analyst Brandel Chamblee, adding a number of other Golf Channel employees, plus the DP World Tour and its commissioner Keith Pelley.

Having finally taken a week off from playing, withdrawing from this week’s Dunhill Links Championship after apparently injuring his back at the French Open, Reed headed back to the States earlier than had been anticipated. But rather than resting up the injury, which was said to be the result of the mattresses in France being too soft, the former Masters champion has been busy refiling the legal case he started last month.

Reed pulled the civil suit, which had been filed in his home city of Houston, Texas, refling it in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida. He added several of Chamblee’s Golf Channel colleagues, including Eamon Lynch, Shane Bacon and Damon Hack, along with the DP World Tour and its commissioner Keith Pelley, joining the PGA Tour and its chief Jay Monahan.

Reed is suing for “conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and tortious interference” and alleges that Chamblee, Hack, Bacon, Lynch, the Golf Channel, the PGA and DP World Tours and their commissioners Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley are “co-conspirators for their anticompetitive conduct and anticompetitive practices in order to destroy the upstart LIV Golf Tour, Mr Reed, and fellow LIV Golf Players in order to annihilate any competition with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour”.

The court papers accuse the defendants of having “defamed, falsely injured and tortiously interfered with this world class golfer and his professional endeavors, by falsely and maliciously branding him a cheater, liar, a thief, a murderer and someone who accepts blood money from terrorists”.

They go on to accuse Chamblee, the Golf Channel and the other defendants of having a “direct interest in contributing to harm Mr Reed” as the PGA Tour has “lucrative contracts with major broadcasting partner NBC's Golf Channel to broadcast events on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour”, adding that losing big name players and weakening those fields while LIV Golf was broadcast by a rival network would threaten those contracts with sponsors and broadcasting partners. The defendants are yet to respond publicly to this latest legal action.

Reed has taken the legal route against Chamblee before, issuing a cease-and-desist letter in January 2020 that demanded he not repeat accusations Reed intentionally cheated at the Hero World Challenge. He was penalised for improving his lie in a bunker, something the 2018 Masters champion insisted he did not intend to do.

A group of 11 LIV Golfers had brought an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, but gradually most of them have withdrawn, leaving just three - Matt Jones, Peter Uihlein and Bryson DeChambeau. Phil Mickelson, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Ian Poulter withdrew this week, following the withdrawals of Carlos Ortiz, Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak and Pat Perez. LIV Golf itself joined the court case last month, a fact Mickelson had cited as a reason he was considering pulling out, saying it wasn’t necessary for him personally to be involved any more.

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