Committee probing PGA Tour-PIF/LIV Golf deal drop huge (!) bombshell

The PGA Tour's deal with LIV Golf's backers went up a notch after the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a subpoena to the Saudi PIF.

Committee probing PGA Tour-PIF/LIV Golf deal drop huge (!) bombshell
Committee probing PGA Tour-PIF/LIV Golf deal drop huge (!) bombshell

Scrutiny on the PGA Tour's deal with LIV Golf's backers - the PIF of Saudi Arabia - just went up a notch. 

On 13 September, the democratic US senator overseeing the probe into the 'framework agreement' between golf's organisations issued a subpoena to the PIF. 

"The Saudi Public Investment Fund cannot have it both ways: if it wants to engage with the United States commercially, it must be subject to United States law and oversight," Richard Blumenthal said in a news release. 

"The oversight includes this Subcommittee's inquiry." 

The news comes after PIF governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, denied repeated attempts to testify before US lawmakers. 

Greg Norman, the LIV Golf chief executive, has also not answered questions under oath. 

Two PGA Tour officials, Ron Price and Jimmy Dunne, took part in a three-hour hearing about the agreement on 11 July. 

Al-Rumayyan is the wearer of many hats in his role as a Saudi state official.

As well as being the PIF governor he is also the chairman of Newcastle United, Saudi Aramco and the mastermind behind the rival LIV Golf League

He was invited to testify before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) on multiple occasions. 

His testimony, Blumenthal has argued, was needed in the wake of the 'merger' between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. 

Blumenthal is also one of the toughest critics of Saudi Arabia on Capitol Hill. 

Announcing the probe, Blumenthal previously said:

"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.
"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."

Al-Rumayyan previously sought sovereign immunity as the PGA Tour litigated LIV Golf. 

The legal action has now been dropped and cannot be revisited, per the terms of the 'framework agreement' that was signed on 20 May.

In the unlikely event that he would testify, Al-Rumayyan would be asked about golf but he would undoubtedly be pressed on his role at the PIF and his relationship with Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. 

The aforementioned Dunne was the first person to reach out to the 53-year-old via WhatsApp in a bid to end the disruption in men's professional golf. 

A series of secret meetings - including PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan - took place in Italy and London. 

Reportedly, what Al-Rumayyan did in the first meeting 'shocked' PGA Tour officials. 

It is said that Monahan only needed 10 minutes before he could trust Al-Rumayyan. 

Read more:

Watched our latest YouTube video?

Sponsored Posts