Report: Greg Norman and LIV Golf mastermind snub PGA Tour hearing

Two PGA Tour execs will testify before US lawmakers on 11 July but LIV Golf's Greg Norman and Yasir Al-Rumayyan will not, citing a conflict of interests. 

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 4 Jul 2023
Report: Greg Norman and LIV Golf mastermind snub PGA Tour hearing

Two high-ranking PGA Tour executives will testify before US lawmakers about the circuit's controversial deal with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, but key figures from LIV Golf will not. 

Per a report by the Washington Examiner, Jimmy Dunne and Ron Price are scheduled to attend a hearing before Congress on 11 July. 

The Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal is leading the probe into the 'framework agreement' that rocked the world of men's professional golf before the 2023 U.S. Open. 

Related: LIV pro says PGA Tour deal 'uncertain'

Blumenthal has previously said the deal:

"Raises concerns about the Saudi government's role in influencing this effort and the risks posed by a foreign government entity assuming control over a cherished American institution."

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and Saudi businessman Yasir Al-Rumayyan have told lawmakers they will not be in attendance, citing a conflict of interests. 

Norman, who is having his own legal troubles, is currently in the UK watching Wimbledon. 

Dunne was crucial to the deal that was brokered over a series of secret meetings across the globe in 2022. 

He first reached out to Al-Rumayyan over WhatsApp. Dunne, Al-Rumayyan, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan along with board member Ed Herlihy played golf and formulated the agreement. 

Monahan is currently absent from his day-to-day duties owing to a 'medical issue'. 

Despite expressing sympathy for Monahan, PGA Tour player director Peter Malnati has urged the under fire boss to clarify his future as soon as possible. 

"If his condition isn't improving," we need to know, he said. 

Blumenthal has threatened to strip the tour's tax-exempt status over the Saudi deal, although the proposed partnership between the tour and PIF would be a for-profit entity. The new company is currently being referred to as PGA Tour Enterprises. 

In a statement to Business Insider, PGA Tour spokesperson Joel Schuchmann said:

"We look forward to appearing before the Senate Subcommittee to answer their questions about the framework agreement that keeps the PGA Tour as the leader of professional golf's future and benefits our players, our fans, and our sport."

Elsewhere, Tiger Woods has finally broken his silence about the proposal. 

Woods' silence has been deafening but he posted a comment on social media yesterday distancing himself from what appeared to be a written statement on his behalf in a call to arms to PGA Tour players. 

Court documents suggest PGA Tour execs planned for Woods to give a rousing speech before the 2022 Travelers Championship, urging the players to tell the Saudis to 'F off and mean it'. 

The 2022 Travelers Championship was overshadowed by chatter about LIV Golf.

Monahan famously spoke of how, despite not being able to compete with LIV Golf in terms of dollar bills, the circuit would continue with their morals and values as their 'North star'. 

During his press conference, Brooks Koepka was announced as a LIV Golf player. 

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