The world of golf was divided after the Saudi Championship. The US Department of Justice is investigating

Officials at the BGA golf tournaments confirmed that the US Department of Justice is investigating whether the tournament engaged in monopolistic behavior, at a time when it is competing with the new LIV tournaments backed by Saudi Arabia, according to the Wall Street Journal. “.

Minutes after the start of the “LIV” golf tournament, the “BGA” tournaments of the World Professional Golf Association issued a decision on Thursday to ban 17 players from participating in its tournament after participating in the all-new competition joined.

The new LIV golf tournament funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund kicked off in North London last Thursday, with fans arriving at the Centurion Club in St Albans to see some of the sport’s biggest names in the first event play.

And the Saudis have signed the biggest names in golf to participate in their new championship after “luring them with money,” according to the New York Times newspaper, which said the Saudi-funded league is coming to compete with the BGA Championships, a tournament that has been the most important event for decades. And the highest level in the world golf championships and its first standard.

Player agents have received inquiries from the Justice Department’s antitrust division about both the PAG Tour’s bylaws governing players’ participation in other golf events, and the PGA Tour’s actions in recent months related to LIV tournaments, according to a person who are familiar with the queries. .

The questions send a clear signal that the Justice Department is monitoring the battle that has sharply divided world golf tournaments, and which the two sides expect to end up in US courts at some point.

A spokesperson for the “BGA Tour” said that they are investigating, and they are confident of winning this battle, while the US Department of Justice declined to comment.

The LIV Championship considered the decision of its rival to prevent players from participating in the BEG Championship as harsh and unjustified, and therefore players should not be forced to enter either of the two tournaments to participate in it to choose over the others.

CNN says that the BGA Tour is still the most prominent golf competition in the world today. However, the new big money rounds offer a great opportunity to earn money for players all over the world, especially the emerging talents.

The threats to exclude the participating players from the professional BGA tournaments, especially for the American champions, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, did not bear fruit.

Johnson, the former world number one and holder of two major championships, and left-handed genius Mickelson, who is the second greatest player in the last twenty years after Tiger Woods, responded to Saudi offers and overcame a hurdle that many believed be crossed.

The BGA Championships announced that the players taking part in the Saudi-backed LIV Championship – and any other player who joins them – are “no longer eligible to participate” in the rounds that began 93 years ago .

“These players made their choice for financial reasons of their own,” PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. He warned other players tempted by Saudi offers that they would be subjected to the same penalties, expressing his regret: “All this talk about money, money and more money.”

The new Saudi-funded league brought together 48 dissident players, inevitably tempted by exorbitant financial prizes of more than 250 million dollars, spread over 8 rounds around the world, and in a unique format over three days without interruption. Among the 48 dissenting players, 16 stars are among the top 100 players in the world.

In turn, American star Phil Mickelson received $200 million to join the new project, according to the newspaper, “The Daily Beast.” The player defended his decision to join the new competition in a press conference held in England on Wednesday.

“I understand that people have very strong opinions and may not agree with my decision, and I can sympathize with that,” Mickelson said. “But at this point in time, it gives me the opportunity to achieve the most balance in my life moving forward, and I think it will do a lot of good for the game.” .

He added that he “never condones human rights abuses” and declined to disclose exactly how much he is being charged for turning down the league in which he has played for so long. He continued: “I feel that contract agreements should be private. It doesn’t appear to be the case, but it should be.”

But that money spent by LIV could also become part of the antitrust case, but tournament organizers say they were forced by BGA Tour rules to spend more to do business.

It should be noted that this is not the first federal investigation into the practices of the “BGA Tour”, in 1994 the FTC investigated two rules of that tournament, one of which was to prevent golfers from playing without permission in non- official, and the other related to the appearance of golf stars on television programs, but the investigation was closed by 1995.

A BGA spokesman said the new investigation “is expected … We went through this in 1994 and we are confident of a similar outcome.”

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