The PGA Tour is set to face a congressional hearing regarding its controversial agreement with a Saudi wealth fund.
Set to take place on July 11, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will scrutinize the deal between the tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which operates LIV Golf.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the committee’s chair, has invited PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman to testify.
This congressional pressure adds to the array of challenges confronting the partnership. In an effort to address concerns and ease player discontent, tour officials held a players’ meeting during the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn. At the meeting, a presentation clarified previously undisclosed details about the partnership.
Tour officials emphasized that the PGA Tour will retain control over its operations. They assured players that the tour will maintain a controlling interest on its existing policy board and the board of the new joint venture overseeing commercial activities of the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and the DP World Tour.
Despite reports of significant Saudi investments, players were informed that the PGA Tour has the authority to reject any investment and influence fund allocation.
Finalizing the agreement remains a lengthy process, requiring approval from the PGA Tour’s policy board and potential scrutiny from the Justice Department due to antitrust concerns.
While the details of the agreement have been kept confidential, sources familiar with the deal assure that the PGA Tour will maintain a controlling voting interest, irrespective of the PIF’s investment level.
The tour will retain oversight over operations, including event management and competition rules.
The congressional hearing marks a critical moment for the PGA Tour as it will shine a spotlight on its controversial Saudi deal.