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Jan 25, 2023 7:54 pm

PGA Tour asks to add Saudi wealth fund to LIV lawsuit

The PGA Tour’s attorneys asked a federal judge to add Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and its governor, Yasir al-Rumayyan, as defendants to the Tour’s countersuit against LIV Golf, according to multiple news outlets.

“Documents produced by LIV reveal that P.I.F. and Mr. al-Rumayyan were instrumental in inducing players to breach their tour contracts,” PGA Tour attorneys told the judge Tuesday in Federal District Court in San Jose, where LIV Golf filed its antitrust lawsuit against the tour last August.

“As set forth in the existing counterclaim, LIV intentionally and knowingly caused these players to breach their contractual obligations to the TOUR by misrepresenting TOUR contracts; inducing these breaches by offering highly lucrative contracts that make it impossible for players to comply with their TOUR contracts; and providing extensive indemnification and hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate LIV players for these breaches,” PGA Tour attorneys wrote in the motion.

“Recently produced documents confirm that PIF and Mr. Al-Rumayyan played an active and central role in orchestrating these breaches for their own benefit and are equally liable for the harm caused to the TOUR.”

The tour also claimed in the motion that the wealth fund and its leader had been “exercising near absolute authority” over the circuit, and that “PIF and Mr. Al-Rumayyan have personally recruited TOUR players, played an active role in contract negotiations, and expressly approved each of the player contracts-all while knowing that these deals would interfere with the players’ TOUR contracts.”

LIV attorneys have argued Al-Rumayyan provided only oversight to the project and the tour is exaggerating his role. In a sworn statement, Al-Rumayyan said the fund provided only “high level oversight” of LIV.

According to court documents, the PIF owns at least 93% of LIV Golf, which is controlled by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and governed by Al-Rumayyan, who is also the chairman of Golf Saudi and the English Premier League club Newcastle United.

–Field Level Media

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