Adams to pay Zaxby's $118,000 after fully exempt dispute


A jury awarded Zaxby's nearly $120,000 in damages after some legal wrangling over the definition of PGA Tour veteran Blake Adams' “fully exempt” status.

According to a report by the Oconee Enterprise, Adams agreed that if he earned fully exempt status under contract, or within four years of the contract being terminated, he would pay the company 20 percent of his earnings for a four-year period. Adams and Zaxby’s parted ways in 2008 – at which time he was paid $117,999 – but he later earned his card via the Tour in 2010 and made more than $3 million over the next three seasons despite nagging injuries.

Adams’ attorney testified that the 40-year-old never reached “fully exempt” status, however, because he still couldn’t play in every tournament on the Tour calendar. Adams still logged 92 starts in that three-year period.

Zaxby’s attorney – who argued that fully exempt status was the equivalent of earning a Tour card, and that appearances in majors and World Golf Championship events were performance-related – was claiming damages in excess of $1 million. The jury ultimately awarded $118,000

Adams played 13 events this season, but made only three cuts.