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PGA Tour seeks to add Saudi Arabias Public Investment Fund to LIV lawsuit

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The PGA Tours attorneys are seeking to add Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and its governor, Yasir Ottman Al-Rumayyan as defendants in LIV Golfs countersuit.

In a motion for leave, the PGA Tours lawyers argued that recently produced documents by LIV Golf proved that the PIF as well as Al-Rumayyan were actively involved in golfers breaking their contracts.

LIV instigated these players to break their contractual obligations to TOUR by mispresenting TOUR contract terms; inducing these violations by offering highly lucrative contracts that make players unable to comply with their TOUR agreements; and providing extensive indemnification, hundreds of millions of dollars to LIV players for their breaches, PGA Tour attorneys wrote. Recently produced documents prove that PIF and Mr. Al-Rumayyan were involved in the orchestration of these breaches for their own advantage and are equally responsible for the damages done to the TOUR.

In August, several players suspended by the PGA Tour after playing in LIV Golf tournaments that did not conflict with event releases filed a federal antitrust suit against the PGA Tour. They claimed the PGA Tour was using its monopoly power and trying to discourage broadcasters and other vendors, and it was using its monopoly to squash competition. LIV Golf, three of its players and the PGA Tour are the remaining plaintiffs in this case.

LIV Golf was accused of interfering with the PGA Tours contracts with its players.

Tuesdays motion by the PGA Tours lawyers argued that LIV Golf was the result of Project Wedge. This plan was designed as a roadmap to take over professional golf as part of Kingdom of Saudi Arabias Vision 2030. Saudi Arabias sovereign fund is worth $620 million.

The PGA Tour lawyers claim that LIV Golf’s subscriptions and shareholders’ agreement, which they obtained in December through discovery, was the lynchpin that showed PIF and Mr. Al-Rumayyan total control of LIV and established that any LIV deal with a player must be authorized by PIF.

In addition, Mr. Al-Rumayyan and PIF have exercised near absolute authority over LIV and actively participated in contract negotiations and approved each player contract-all the while knowing that these deals could interfere with the TOUR contracts of the players, PGA Tour lawyers wrote.

In addition to approving player agreements that promise to indemnify such athletes from breaching their contractual obligations to TOUR, Mr. Al-Rumayyan has personally assured at least one player about his or PIFs commitment in backing such player in any legal claim by the TOUR.

LIV Golfs attorneys argued in prior motions that the PGA Tour exaggerates its control over the new circuit. Al-Rumayyan, in a sworn statement, stated that the fund only provided high-level oversight of LIV.

According to court documents, at least 93% of LIV golf is owned by the PIF. Atul Khosla, the former COO and president of LIV Golf, stated to ESPN in October about the circuit, which is being led by two-time Open winner. Greg Norman, which spent more than $784million in operating expenses during its first season in 2022. Khosla resigned in December.

The PGA Tours lawyers failed to obtain documents from the PIF via discovery and have thus far been unable o depose Al-Rumayyan. In the court filing, the attorneys stated that Al-Rumayyan believes that no United States court has jurisdiction over them, that they are immune from mandatory process and that they have no information or documents pertinent to the case.

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