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LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman is set to meet with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss the Tour’s controversial business ties to Saudi Arabia and “anti-competitive efforts” by the PGA Tour, which has seen several of the sport’s top players are suspended, according to reports.
The 20-time PGA Tour winner will travel to DC in a bid to ‘educate’ leaders on both sides on the tour, which is backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, and discuss the ongoing battle with round, Politico first reported on Monday.
“LIV Golf is coming to the Hill this week to meet with lawmakers from both parties,” LIV Golf spokesman Jonathan Grella said in a statement to the outlet. “Given the The PGA Tour’s attempts to stifle our progress In reimagining the game, we believe it’s imperative to educate members about LIV’s business model and counter the Tour’s anti-competitive efforts.”
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The reunion comes just a month after Politico reported that LIV Golf hired lobbying firm Hobart Hallaway & Quayle Ventures.
The PGA Tour drew a hard line in the sand this summer after some of its members either quit their memberships or agreed to play in LIV tournaments without release.
Commissioner Jay Monahan issued a memo in June saying those players would now be considered ineligible to compete in Tour events, prompting 11 players to file an antitrust complaint claiming the indefinite suspensions from the Tour were intended to harm their careers.
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Four players have since dropped the lawsuit and in their absence, LIV Golf has joined them. Phil Mickelson, one of the players to initially file the complaint, said last week that he might consider retiring as a result of LIV’s involvement.
“I haven’t done anything yet, but now that LIV is involved, there’s no need for me to be a part of it,” he said of LIV Golf’s invitation to Chicago. “I still am right now. I don’t know what I’m really going to do. The only reason I’m staying in there is the damage, which I don’t really want or need anything about. “
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The Justice Department launched an investigation into the PGA Tour’s handling of the situation in July to determine whether it committed antitrust violations.
“Since the arrival of LIV, the PGA Tour intensified. They would never have done this without competition. Competition is the best thing in any sport,” Norman said last week.
“We created this new atmosphere, this new energy, and the PGA Tour had to respond. That tells us, me, LIV is the leader. LIV is the future of golf. As long as we maintain our position and continue to build and build and build, the Tour is going to have to keep reacting and reacting and reacting.”