On Tuesday a group of more than 80 caddies filed a class-action federal lawsuit against the PGA Tour, seeking compensation for being forced to wear bibs that are plastered with sponsored logos and serving as “human billboards.” Later that day, Commissioner Tim FInchem addressed the media and spoke about the issue. Then, during the Tour’s annual Player Meeting at Torrey Pines, the site of this week’s Farmers Insurance Open, he addressed the topic briefly.
Well, apparently, some of the comments made by Finchem and other Tour officials have been misleading and/or untrue. The lead attorney for the caddies, Gene Egdorf responded in a letter on Thursday that was distributed to PGA Tour pros, which stressed “the lawsuit filed by the caddies is NOT about or against the players nor does it involve your money.”
According to the letter, the Tour has threatened players’ pension plans and tournament purses, suggesting that they will be impacted in order to support the caddies’ requests.
“We understand the Tour is again threatening your pension plan,” wrote Egdorf. “It is awful and sad that the Tour continues to threaten you when they have previously admitted the player pension and the player purses have nothing to do with any of the requests made by the caddies. In fact, last year, in Atlanta, Andy Pazder confirmed to several caddies the player retirement programs and weekly purses will not be affected in any way by the funding from the Tour of any program to support caddies. Simply put, any funds used to resolve a lawsuit, pay a judgment, or fund any caddie program will admittedly come from a different source.”
The letter also states that Finchem told the players that their loopers are not required to wear bibs, which contradicts what Tour officials have told caddies in the past and what is written in the regulations handbook.