A federal magistrate denied LIV Golf’s bid to expand discovery to include members of Augusta National, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Magistrate Susan van Keulen wrote in her Monday decision that LIV Golf’s attempt to subpoena 10 Augusta National Golf Club members — including those on Augusta’s Masters’ committee — was “overly burdensome” and “not in proportion to the needs of” LIV Golf’s antitrust lawsuit filed last summer against the PGA Tour.
In a filing last week, LIV Golf attorneys wrote that discovery so far in the case has “shown that the Tour delivered these threats not only through its own executives and employees but by dispatching other influential persons on its behalf.”
“The cited documents [in LIV Golf’s Jan. 23 filing] do not implicate in any way the subpoenaed parties,” van Keulen wrote. “Nor do they reflect communications by or between the identified additional targets. Indeed, for the most part, the identified targets appear merely as names on lists or in other oblique references made by others. Any connection between an identified target and a subpoenaed party, based on the cited documents, is highly speculative.”
Among those LIV Golf was looking to seek discovery from was Rice, a Denver Broncos co-owner who was among the first two women to join Augusta in 2012.
In the filing, LIV Golf alleged Rice and banking executive Warren Stephens, an Augusta member, “apparently attempted to influence the U.S. Department of Justice to not investigate the Tour.”
The Justice Department is investigating the PGA Tour for anti-competitive practices