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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

PGA Tour Raises LIV Golf Concerns to U.S. Lawmakers

  • The PGA Tour has reportedly paid $360,000 for lobbying efforts since last year.
  • One of the topics to Tour hired DLA Piper to lobby for on its behalf is "Saudi Golf League proposals."
Reuters via USA TODAY Sports

The PGA Tour was concerned about LIV Golf long before its members started transitioning to the Saudi Arabia-backed league.

The Tour has reportedly paid $360,000 to DLA Piper since last year to lobby lawmakers on their behalf. One of the topics, of course, is “Saudi Golf League proposals.”

  • From the beginning of April to the end of June, the PGA Tour paid $120,000 — the most it’s ever spent on lobbying in a given time period.
  • The Tour reportedly spent the same amount in the first half of 2004 in an effort to receive federal appropriations and grants for a charity golf program.

Advisors to President Joe Biden reportedly proposed a meeting with a PGA Tour representative and Saudi Arabia’s U.S. ambassador, but the Tour declined.

“We welcome good, healthy competition,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said. “The LIV Saudi Golf League is not that. It’s an irrational threat, one not concerned with the return on investment or true growth of the game.”

Meanwhile, LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said she’d be open to a discussion with former PGA Tour member Greg Norman, who leads LIV Golf, “if it would achieve our aim of promoting women’s golf.”

LIVing Large

Many stars are transitioning to LIV Golf because of the money involved. LIV Golf raised $2 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund earlier this year, and has signed contracts with a number of PGA Tour golfers including Phil Mickelson, who reportedly inked a $200 million deal.

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