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The key architects behind golf’s shock so-called merger have been asked to testify at a US Senate hearing next month.
The Senate is investigating the proposed deal that will see the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) operate under one commercial entity.
Golf’s established tours have agreed to join forces with PIF, the backers of LIV Golf, in a surprise union that will effectively see the Saudi kingdom control the sport at the elite level.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, PIF governor Yasir al-Rumayyan and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman have all now been invited testify at a Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations meeting on July 11 over the “framework agreement.”
Monahan, who has temporarily stepped down from his role citing “medical issues”, is set to be the unnamed new entity’s chief executive officer, while Al-Rumayyan will become chairman.
Senator Richard Blumenthal will be examining the deal and said in a public statement that the hearing should give fans a better understanding of its long-term impact for the PGA Tour.
Today I am officially inviting the PGA Tour Commissioner, LIV Golf CEO, & Saudi Public Investment Fund Governor to testify in front of my Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. We need to get to the bottom of the planned agreement between the PGA & Saudi-funded LIV Golf. pic.twitter.com/FlYD4vpmCh
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) June 21, 2023
Blumenthal, who chairs the committee, wrote: “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.”
Earlier this month, Blumenthal had requested that documents relating to the plan from relevant parties should be provided by June 26.
The PGA Tour then issued a statement saying: “We are confident that once Congress learns more about how the PGA Tour will control this new venture, they will understand the opportunities this will create for our players, our communities and our sport, all while protecting an American golf institution.”
Monahan, Al-Rumayyan and Norman have been told to respond to the Senate’s invite by June 28 ahead of the hearing.
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