Patrick Reed, the former Masters champion who left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf this year, on Tuesday brought a lawsuit against Golf Channel and commentator Brandel Chamblee and is seeking damages for defamation.
The civil lawsuit, which was first brought to light by a reporter for Courthouse News Service, was filed by Florida-based attorney Larry Klayman at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston. Reed seeks more than $750 million in damages.
According to the court documents, the suit contends that Chamblee and Golf Channel have “conspired” with the PGA Tour and Commissioner Jay Monahan “to engage in a pattern and practice of defaming Mr. Reed, misreporting information with falsity and/or reckless disregard for the truth … 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 as a young, elite and world-class golfer … ”
Golf Channel and Chamblee are identified as the defendants, while the PGA Tour and Monahan are not.
The lawsuit further states, “It is well known on tour that Mr. Reed has been abused and endured more than any other golfer from fans or spectators who have been allowed to scream obscenities only to be glorified by NBC’s Golf Channel for doing so because it gets Defendants Chamblee and Golf Channel ‘clicks,’ viewership, ratings and increased revenue.”
Reed, 32, has had a decidedly mixed reputation in the professional game. He owns nine PGA Tour wins and once garnered the nickname “Captain America” for his impassioned play in the Ryder Cup. But he also has been involved in several rules controversies, after which numerous commentators and players have called his integrity into question.
The lawsuit attempts to connect some of Reed’s treatment to his move to LIV Golf in early July. He joined the controversial Saudi-backed circuit in time for its first event in the United States outside of Portland, Ore., and competed in his second tournament at New Jersey’s Trump Bedminster three weeks ago. Reed received an undisclosed contract to join LIV, and in two starts his individual earnings are $2.25 million.
The suit alleges that Golf Channel, Chamblee and the PGA Tour are “defaming and smearing anyone associated with LIV … in order to try to maintain their monopolistic hold on professional golf.”
This isn’t the first time Reed has challenged Chamblee with legal action. In 2020, Golfweek obtained a cease-and-desist letter Reed and his then-attorney Peter Ginsberg sent that demanded that the Golf Channel analyst not repeat accusations that Reed cheated at the Hero World Challenge that year.
Klayman, Reed’s current lawyer, is the chairman and general counsel for Freedom Watch Inc., and in early July he filed a consumer class-action suit in Florida against the PGA Tour, alleging it was colluding with the DP World (formerly European) Tour and other entities to restrain competition from LIV Golf.
Klayman has been involved in numerous high-profile lawsuits. During former President Bill Clinton’s eight years in the White House, the lawyer, working on behalf of the Judicial Watch organization that he founded, filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the Clinton administration. In 2012, Klayman was unsuccessful in challenging that then-President Barrack Obama was not a natural-born citizen of the United States and therefore should not be on the Florida primary ballot. Two years later, while Obama was serving his second term, Klayman requested that the Department of Homeland Security initiate a deportation of Obama.
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