Sergio Garcia's Texts with Greg Norman Revealed as Part of LIV Golfers' Lawsuit

Erin WalshAugust 6, 2022

BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY - JULY 31: Team Captain Sergio Garcia of Fireballs GC plays his shot from the fourth tee during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 31, 2022 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/LIV via Getty Images )
Jared C. Tilton/LIV via Getty Images

Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and nine other LIV Golf Invitational Series players filed suit Wednesday against the PGA Tour after they were suspended for joining the Saudi Arabia-backed league.

On Friday, Golf Magazine's Dylan Dethier reported about text messages between 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.

Dylan Dethier @dylan_dethier

Interesting to see how insistent Norman was (in these texts with Sergio) that the PGA Tour wouldn't and couldn't suspend players.<br><br>"They cannot ban you for one day let alone life." <a href="https://t.co/foSDSIOg2L">pic.twitter.com/foSDSIOg2L</a>

Garcia, who was announced as one of the many LIV Golf players in May, texted Norman on Feb. 11 with concerns about joining the breakaway circuit because of potential punishment from the PGA Tour.

The Spaniard said in a message that it seemed "like a lot of those guys that were loving [LIV Golf] and excited about it last week, now are [s--tting] in their pants."

Norman asked Garcia who was nervous, and the 42-year-old responded that he believed the PGA Tour had reached out to younger players "and scared them a bit and because they are young, I think it worked."

Six days later, Garcia texted Norman: "Hi Sharky! It's official, the Tour has told our managers this week that whoever signs with the League, is ban from the Tour for life! I don't know how are we gonna get enough good players to join the League under this conditions. What do you think?"

Norman responded that the PGA Tour could not ban players "for one day let alone life."

"It is a shallow threat," Norman wrote. "Ask them to put it in writing to you or any player. I bet they don't. Happy for anyone to speak with our legal team to better understand they have no chance of enforcing."

On June 9, Commissioner Jay Monahan suspended 17 players, including Garcia, from competing in the PGA Tour after they began play in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event at the Centurion Club in London.

Eleven players filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour on Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to challenge the bans and other restrictions.

The lawsuit alleges the PGA Tour engaged in "anticompetitive behavior" to control its hold on professional golf and that it "ventured to harm" the players' careers.

Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones are also seeking a temporary restraining order so they can compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs, which begin next week in Memphis, Tennessee.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether the PGA Tour engaged in anticompetitive behavior.