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Scrutiny in Senate Hearing: PGA Tour's Partnership with Saudi-funded LIV Golf

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The PGA Tour Defends Controversial Deal with Saudi-Backed LIV Golf League

PGA Tour Responds to Critics

The PGA Tour has faced criticism for its recent deal with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league, and on Tuesday, the organization defended its decision before the Senate Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on investigations. The merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf's commercial assets has sparked controversy and accusations of "sportswashing," the act of spreading government influence through sports. While some senators are critical of the agreement, others have taken a softer tone, understanding the challenges faced by the PGA Tour in preserving the game of golf and the purity of competition at the highest level.

Hearing Details

The Senate Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on investigations held its first hearing to discuss the merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. A representative from LIV Tour or Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund was not present at the hearing due to CEO Greg Norman being out of the country. However, Ron Price, the chief operating officer of the PGA Tour, was present to testify. The hearing focused on examining the implications of the merger and understanding the motivations behind the deal.

Criticisms and Controversies

Critics of the deal have highlighted the Saudi government's alleged ties to the 9/11 attacks and the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They argue that the partnership with LIV Golf allows the Saudi regime to enhance its public image and exert influence over a cherished American institution. Nevertheless, the PGA Tour believes the merger is necessary to confront the existential threats faced by professional golf and ensure the long-term preservation of the sport.

Ongoing Investigation

The Senate Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on investigations is planning to hear testimony from Greg Norman and tour golfers in the future. They aim to delve deeper into the merger and understand the potential consequences it may have on the integrity of the game of golf. The committee sees this hearing as an opportunity to shed light on how a repressive regime can buy influence and manipulate a beloved American sport to further its own agenda. This investigation acknowledges the concerns raised by critics and seeks to ensure transparency in the decision-making process.


The controversial deal between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league continues to attract attention and skepticism. While some senators express concerns about the implications of this merger, others recognize the difficulties the PGA Tour faces in safeguarding the sport. As the investigation progresses, the Senate Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on investigations aims to uncover the truth behind the partnership and assess the potential impact on the game of golf. This ongoing dialogue is crucial for maintaining the integrity of professional sports and ensuring they remain free from undue influence.

Hot Take: Potential Impact on a New Business

The controversial merger between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league raises important questions about how this topic might impact a new business in the golf industry. As the PGA Tour defends its decision before the Senate Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on investigations, the scrutiny surrounding this partnership may have a ripple effect on other ventures trying to establish themselves in the golf market. One potential impact is the heightened focus on the integrity of business deals and partnerships. The concerns raised by critics regarding the Saudi government's alleged ties to 9/11 and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi have put a spotlight on potential reputational risks for businesses associated with controversial entities. New businesses must carefully consider the implications of any partnerships or investor relationships to avoid being negatively associated with controversial figures or regimes. Furthermore, the ongoing investigation by the Senate committee highlights the need for transparency and accountability in business operations. For a new business in the golf industry, this emphasizes the importance of maintaining a clean and ethical image to gain trust from consumers, investors, and stakeholders. On the other hand, this controversy also presents an opportunity for new businesses to position themselves as alternatives or competitors in the market. By distancing themselves from partnerships or associations that draw criticism, these businesses can attract customers who prioritize transparency and ethical values. This could open up a niche market for companies that prioritize integrity and stand by their principles. In conclusion, the PGA Tour's controversial deal with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league serves as a reminder for new businesses in the golf industry to carefully navigate partnerships, consider their reputational risks, and maintain transparency. By doing so, they can position themselves as ethical alternatives and potentially capitalize on market opportunities created by controversies surrounding established entities. Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/11/pga-tour-liv-golf-senate-hearing.html

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