Senate Opens Inquiry Into PGA Tour Deal with Saudi-Funded LIV Golf

Congress cannot block the agreement simply by opening an investigation, and any legislation to derail the deal would almost certainly provoke a court challenge. But congressional scrutiny and, perhaps, public hearings could tarnish the deal and make the months ahead even more unpleasant for the leaders of professional golf.

Blumenthal has shown a willingness to spar with sports executives. Lately, he has pressed American universities for information about their sports betting partnerships, and he has lashed the N.C.A.A. leadership for years over conditions for college athletes.

Although the planned deal has caused some heartburn and saber-rattling on Capitol Hill, Congress has not shown unanimous interest in haranguing golf leaders over it. Senator Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican who is the ranking minority member on the panel that Blumenthal chairs, said last week that Congress should stay out of sports.

The PGA Tour’s agreement with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, whose LIV circuit made its debut last year, would bring the business dealings of the rival tours into a new company. The PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, is in line to serve as its chief executive, and Yasir al-Rumayyan, the wealth fund’s governor, will be its chairman.

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