Multiple LIV Golf players have met with the Justice Department, as the United States government investigates whether the PGA Tour exploited the sport’s labor market.
According to the New York Times, as a part of its antitrust inquiry into men’s professional golf, the Justice Department has conducted interviews with members of the Saudi-backed venture, such as Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Sergio García.
Per the Times, this investigation into the PGA Tour has been ongoing for close to a year now. The Justice Department is exploring relationships and subsequent collusion, in which the PGA and other organizations associated with the professional golf tour have sought to exclude LIV golfers from playing on the world stage.
Both professional golf tours have been at odds since several golfers defected from the PGA Tour and opted to play for a professional tour that is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. While the PGA Tour has been the dominant professional golf tour in the United States, it does not receive a federal antitrust exemption like Major League Baseball does. Neither does any other golf organization in the country.
While it remains to be seen if this federal investigation will ultimately benefit LIV Golf, though, it does beg to note that the Justice Department has met with several of the Saudi-backed league’s most outspoken faces. It’s too early to tell what this means for the PGA Tour, whose lawyers met with the Justice Department this week, according to the Times.