Another day off of the course, and another day in the courts. The ongoing and seemingly never-ending battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf Invitational Series grew even murkier on Tuesday.
An attorney representing Patrick Reed, winner of the 2018 Masters, has filed a $750 million defamation lawsuit against Golf Channel and analyst Brandel Chamblee. The lawsuit claims that Reed has been the target of unfair and false criticisms since he was 23 years old, leading to a "hostile work environment for him."
The lawsuit was filed before the Southern District of Texas U.S. District Court in Houston.
Reed's 30-page lawsuit also claims that Chamblee and Golf Channel have conspired with the PGA Tour, its executives, and commissioner Jay Monahan to "engage in a pattern and practice of defaming Mr. Reed."
The allegations in the lawsuit include "misreporting information with falsity and/or reckless disregard of the truth, that is with actual and constitutional malice, purposely omitting pertinent key material facts to mislead the public, and actively targeting Mr. Reed since he was 23 years old, to destroy his reputation, create hate, and a hostile work environment for him, and with the intention to discredit his name and accomplishments as a young, elite, world-class golfer, and the good and caring person, husband and father of two children, he is."
The Patrick Reed Saga
Reed, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, has been accused of cheating multiple times throughout both his junior and professional career. Most recently, Reed received a two-stroke penalty at the Hero World Challenge in 2019 after appearing to improve his lie on a bunker shot. Reed claimed he did not intentionally touch the sand with his club, but Chamblee wasn't buying it.
Back in January 2020, Golfweek reported that Reed's lawyer sent Chamblee a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that he not repeat accusations about Reed cheating at the Hero World Challenge. Clearly, Reed has never been a big fan of the Golf Channel analyst.
However, after Reed elected to jump ship for LIV Golf this summer, Chamblee once again critiqued the 32-year-old Texas native, verbally expressing his displeasure with the decision while on live television. Chamblee's numerous public criticisms of Reed's decision are the primary complaint in the lawsuit.
"These calculated, malicious, false and/or reckless attacks have had a direct effect on Mr. Reed's and his family's livelihood and he has suffered major damages through the loss of not just one, but multiple multi-million dollar sponsorship deals as a result of the continuous harm that Brandel Chamblee and NBC's Golf Channel's have inflicted and continue to inflict upon Mr. Reed with defamatory publications that are false and/or made with a reckless disregard for the truth."
Another complaint from the lawsuit states that Reed was "constructively terminated" as a member of the PGA Tour in June 2022. The PGA Tour issued a statement prior to LIV's inaugural event to notify members about possible indefinite suspensions for taking part in the tournament. Reed made his debut for LIV Golf in Oregon last month and the PGA Tour suspended him as a result.