The US Senate has opened an investigation into the proposed merger between the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Tour.
In a letter to PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan, the chairman of the permanent subcommittee on investigations, Senator Richard Blumenthal, criticized the involvement of the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund PIF, which also finances the LIV Tour, in the controversial deal and requested further documents.
"The PIF's role as an arm of the Saudi government and the PGA Tour's sudden and drastic about-face in relation to LIV Golf raise serious questions about the rationale and terms of the announced agreement," the US Democratic politician wrote. "Prior to this agreement, the PGA Tour was one of the most vocal critics of LIV Golf's affiliation with Saudi Arabia."
Deadline until June 26th
Blumenthal spoke of "risks that arise when a foreign government entity takes control of a esteemed American institution" and noted that the Public Investment Fund (PIF) uses its investments in sport to "advance the strategic goals of the Saudi government to promote." The documents requested as part of the investigation now have to be submitted by June 26th.
After a long dispute, the three major golf tours announced a week ago that they had reached a "groundbreaking agreement to standardize golf" and that they would work together in the future. Accordingly, the PIF should also be a shareholder and donor of a new joint organization.
The LIV tournaments have been criticized since their debut in June 2022 because of the millions invested from Saudi Arabia. The background is that the country, which has been criticized for human rights violations, is trying to improve its image with lucrative sporting events.