US senator vows to fight on against Saudi influence over golf

US senator vows to fight on against Saudi influence over golf

The head of a Senate investigation into Saudi Arabia’s investments in the US has vowed to keep fighting to limit the kingdom’s influence over the sport of golf.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal welcomed a recent agreement for American sports magnates to inject $3bn into the PGA Tour’s commercial operations, and warned of intense scrutiny if the Saudi sovereign wealth fund is invited to join the deal.

News of talks between the PGA and the $700bn Public Investment Fund — which has backed a rival LIV Golf league — sparked political opposition in the US and a congressional investigation into Saudi influence in the US that has loomed over a prospective deal.

“I’m not claiming any victories here because we don’t know what the deal is,” Blumenthal told the Financial Times in an interview. “Will there be a Saudi investment? What degree of control would the Saudis have if they make an investment? We haven’t seen the end of this story yet.”

The PGA Tour and PIF shocked the sports world last June when they announced that they had put aside a bitter legal battle in order to explore unifying their respective professional golf tours. LIV Golf, which has just launched its third season, has