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Law

Senate to Probe PGA Tour-LIV Golf Deal at Hearing

  • Sens. Blumenthal, Johnson invites PGA Tour's Jay Monahan, LIV Golf's Greg Norman to attend.
  • PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan also receives invite for July 11 subcommittee hearing.
LIV PGA Hearing
Hannah Gaber-USA TODAY

The PGA Tour-LIV Golf partnership will be examined at a Senate hearing next month. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) invited PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, and Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund chief Yasir Al-Rumayyan to testify in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on July 11. 

“Our goal is to uncover the facts about what went into the PGA Tour’s deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund and what the Saudi takeover means for the future of this cherished American institution and our national interest,” said Blumenthal, the subcommittee chair.  “Americans deserve to know what the structure and governance of this new entity will be. Major actors in the deal are best positioned to provide this information, and they owe Congress – and the American people – answers in a public setting.”

Blumenthal previously announced his plans to investigate the deal earlier this month.  

It’s the first congressional hearing scheduled since the partnership was announced on June 6, and has the support of the subcommittee’s ranking member Ron Johnson, a Republican who represents Wisconsin. 

“Fans, the players, and concerned citizens have many questions about the planned agreement between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf,” Johnson said. “I look forward to hearing testimony from the individuals who are in the best positions to provide insight to the public regarding the current state of professional golf. I hope that this hearing and any other role that Congress plays in this matter will be constructive.”

In the letter to Monahan, Blumenthal and Johnson wrote that the hearing would include questions about “the risks associated with a foreign government’s investment in American cultural institutions.”

A week after the deal was struck, Monahan took a leave of absence to deal with a “a medical situation.” There’s no update on when Monahan is expected to return. 

The agreement already resulted in one major outcome: the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and PIF had to cease all litigation by Friday. The PGA Tour and LIV petitioned to dismiss their antitrust case, and PIF agreed to drop its appeal by the deadline. 

U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman approved the motion on Tuesday. 

The Justice Department — which launched a probe into the PGA Tour last year over alleged anti-competitive moves to stifle LIV Golf — is already reviewing the partnership. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe are also expected to examine the deal.  

The PGA Tour is expected to issue a statement on the subcommittee’s invite later Wednesday. A LIV Golf spokesperson declined to comment. 

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