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David Toms sues his agent

David Toms has filed a lawsuit against his agent and the agent's company, looking to terminate his contract and seeking money Toms says he was never paid for sponsorships.

"I don't like controversy," Toms, a Shreveport native, told The Shreveport Times. "I like people to get along, things to be smooth -- that's the way I try to live my life. Any time it's not that way, mentally, it's taken its toll the last six weeks or so."

A message left for Toms' agent, David K. Parker, was not returned.

The lawsuit was filed in the 1st Judicial District Court in Shreveport last week. The 13-page suit claims Parker and his company, Links Sports Management Group -- based in Plano, Texas -- have not accepted a termination of contract letter sent from Toms sent Apr. 15.

The contract in question began in 2002 and was scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2006. According to the suit, the contract was to be automatically renewed unless either party gave written notice no less than 60 days prior to the end of the contract.

The suit claims breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty -- not looking out for Toms' best interest -- and seeks the termination of the contract and compensatory damages with interest.

Links has also demanded a 20 percent commission on all of Toms' accounts, including endorsement deals that predate his deal with the company, according to the suit.

"This is something I can hope I can get behind me quickly," said Toms, who is represented by Shreveport's Robert Dunkelman. Dunkelman could not be reached for comment.

"It's part of getting closure," Toms said. "This has happened to other players, it's not the best thing, but it's the best thing for me. Hopefully this will speed up the process."

Toms also alleges in the suit that Links failed to give him a check it received from one of his sponsors.

Toms' play on the PGA Tour has suffered since the problems with Parker and Links arose.

"It's been going on since about the TPC [March 21-27]," Toms said.

Before The Players Championship, Toms had a streak of four top-five finishes, including a victory at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Since his tie for fifth at the Honda Classic on March 13, Toms has failed to record a finish inside the top 33 and has missed three of the last four cuts.

"Physically, I haven't been playing well. If I was playing great golf I would think this is just something going on the side," Toms said. "Can't really use it as an excuse. I haven't played well. Has it taken away from my preparation and my focus? Probably so."

Parker is the third agent of Toms' career and the two have done business since the late 1990s.

"The successful part of my career -- he's been the only one," Toms said.

Toms is not in the EDS Byron Nelson Championship field this week, but does plan to return to action at next week's Bank of America Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

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