U.S. golf would likely struggle without Saudi cash infusion -PGA Tour
1. The PGA Tour officials testified at a congressional hearing about their merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf to prevent further financial losses and player departures.
Jimmy Dunne and Ron Price, involved in brokering the deal, emphasized the need for the merger to avoid damaging the sport and losing top players.
The PGA Tour's governing board member, Dunne, joined the organization to address the challenges arising from players leaving for LIV Golf.
LIV Golf had previously filed a lawsuit alleging an illegal monopoly, further complicating the situation.
The fear was that if the legal battles and player departures continued, golf would be significantly harmed.
Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ron Johnson held the hearing, inviting LIV Golf's CEO, Greg Norman, and Al-Rumayyan, but they did not attend.
Dunne's conversation with Al-Rumayyan led to the announcement of the PGA Tour seeking financial backing from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and forming a new golf league.
Without taking action, LIV Golf could have eventually attracted all the top golf stars, potentially damaging the PGA Tour.
The deal between the PGA and PIF faced criticism for Saudi Arabia's investment and concerns about human rights and the image of the sport.
The PGA Tour generated around $1.6 billion in revenue in 2021/2022, and it is expected to reach $2.1 billion this year, emphasizing the financial significance of the sport.