Three players from the LIV Golf Series have lost a legal battle against the PGA Tour to compete in the FedEx Cup Play-offs.

LIV Golf players Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones have all been banned from playing in this week’s FedEx St Jude Championship on the PGA Tour after a US District Court judge rejected an attempt by the players to get a temporary restraining order lifted in order for them to play in the opening leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs which begins in Memphis on Thursday.

All three players had argued that the tour had inflicted “irreparable harm” by keeping them out of the tour’s post-season events. However, in a San Jose courtroom, Judge Beth Freeman sided with the tour. “LIV contracts are based upon players calculation of what they were leaving behind,” Freeman said.

During a two-hour hearing at a court in San José, Judge Freeman appeared to suggest that both sides were at fault for the current impasse, taking exception with PGA Tour Comissioner Jay Monahan’s ability to have absolute say in suspending players while questioning if, at some point in the future, the PGA Tour would be the party filing an antitrust action against LIV Golf. Freeman also said the LIV players were making ‘double the money’ than what they made on the PGA Tour, thus hurting the case that the tour suspensions were truly causing ‘irreparable harm’.

Following the legal defeat, LIV Golf issued the following statement: “We’re disappointed that Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones won’t be allowed to play golf. No one gains by banning golfers from playing.”

Monahan sent a memo to PGA TOUR members after the ruling was announced that also served as a statement from the tour. It said: “With today’s news, our players, fans and partners can now focus on what really matters over the next three weeks: the best players in the world competing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, capping off an incredibly compelling season with the crowning of the FedExCup champion at the Tour Championship.”

Reports coming out of Australia have claimed that Open champion Cameron Smith and compatriot Marc Leishman will be among those players joining LIV Golf in the near future. Smith would not be drawn on the matter when asked on Tuesday. The next LIV Golf event is taking place at The International in Boston from September 2-4.

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