PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – As news settled in across the TPC Sawgrass practice tee Wednesday afternoon that Vijay Singh had filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour for “violating its duty of care and good faith,” player reaction was mixed and largely muted.
Most players asked for comment declined, citing the unique nature of the lawsuit, which came a week after Singh was not sanctioned by the Tour for taking a substance that was on the circuit’s banned list.
“I am not going to comment right now,” Robert Garrigus said when asked about the lawsuit which was filed in New York.
Some players, however, were willing to go on the record regarding the news.
“I think everybody is just kind of in shock,” Bob Estes said. “Anytime you tell someone if they don’t already know, everybody just can’t believe it. It seemed like the Tour did everything they could to protect him. It seems like the opposite of what the suit claims.
“The perception was the Tour bent over backwards to get him out of (the anti-doping violation). Vijay should be so happy he is getting to play and he doesn’t have six months off.”
Joe Ogilvie, a member of the Tour’s player advisory council, added:
“I don’t think the lawsuit will hurt the Tour one way or another. I think it’s a frivolous lawsuit,” he said. “There is zero chance this will lead to less stringent drug testing. This lawsuit won’t lead to anything like that. Any drug testing in all sports will become more stringent. The tests will get better.
“ … There would have been universal approval from all the players for Vijay if he had sued (the World Anti-Doping Agency). The PGA Tour isn’t in the business of testing what people put in their bodies. We rely on an outside association. That’s important to remember.”
Players seemed more willing to voice their opinions via social media. John Daly tweeted late Wednesday: “(Singh) don't do this. Horrible advice. You got off. Take it from me not worth it #friendlyadvice”
While Scott Gutschewski initially tweeted, “Admit to breaking the rules, get away with it, sue the organization that didn’t suspend you! #arrogance #mindlbown #cantlose.” But followed that up with another comment in support of Singh: “I’m sensing a real strong outcry of public support for Vijay. He didn’t deserve to be treated like this.”