Report: LIV Golf officials to skip latest PGA Tour-PIF senate hearing

The PGA Tour-PIF/LIV Golf deal will be scrutinised by U.S. lawmakers once again but no officials from the organisations will be present. 

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 12 Sep 2023
Report: LIV Golf officials to skip latest PGA Tour-PIF senate hearing

The PGA Tour-PIF deal will continue to be scrutinised by democratic senator Richard Blumenthal. 

But in the hearing schedule for 13 September, no PGA Tour, PIF and LIV Golf officials will be present. 

Blumenthal previously insisted LIV Golf supremo Yasir Al-Rumayyan attend to answer questions. 

His lawyers stated as a Saudi Arabian minister he is 'bound by the Kingdom's laws regarding the confidentiality of certain information' and therefore would be an 'inappropriate witness'. 

Al-Rumayyan, the powerful Saudi businessman thought to be the mastermind behind LIV Golf, is also the chairman of Saudi Arabia's PIF. 

The PIF have already invested billions of dollars into global sport. Court docs state at least $2bn has already been ploughed into LIV Golf. 

In the first hearing before U.S. lawmakers, it was revealed the PIF would make an initial investment of $1bn into golf.

Both Al-Rumayyan LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman previously cited scheduling conflicts as to why they couldn't attend the first hearing.

That first hearing was held on 11 July where two PGA Tour officials, Jimmy Dunne and Ron Price, answered questions about the 6 June 'framework agreement' between the PGA Tour, PIF and DP World Tour. 

There were a number of bombshells from that hearing. 

Al-Rumayyan was later told he 'cannot have it both ways' and not attend owing to a previous ruling a judge gave in the PGA Tour-LIV Golf antitrust case. 

The hearing on 13 September will feature testimony from:

  • Benjamin Freeman: The director of the Democratizing Foreign Policy Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Brian Murphy: The managing director of Logically AI Inc.
  • Joey Shea: From Human Rights Watch

What is the framework agreement? 

It is a five-page agreement signed by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and Public Investment Fund governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan to form a new entity that will align men's professional golf and gives the PGA Tour 'full decision-making authority with respect to all strategic and operational matters related to competition.' 

The document was signed on 30 May and immediately ended the litigation between the parties after a year of unprecedented disruption in men's professional golf. 

There is a deadline of 31 December for the agreement to be finalised and signed off by the PGA Tour's policy board. 

Tiger Woods has now joined the policy board, meaning the players have more power than ever before. 

Read more:

Watched our latest YouTube video?