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The 123rd US Open tees off today at the LA Country Club, providing a rare public look at one of the club’s two ultra-private courses that have long been shrouded in mystery. But that’s not the only mystery facing the pros who, after the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf announced their controversial merger, don’t know what the future holds for their sport.
Last year’s US Open winner, Matt Fitzpatrick, summed it up on Monday: “It’s pretty clear that nobody knows what’s going on apart from about four people in the world.” In addition to open questions about player compensation and exactly how the rival leagues will work together, the deal is expected to face more scrutiny in Washington than Viktor Hovland’s shirt got at the Masters.
Yesterday, Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, both Democrats, asked the Department of Justice to investigate the merger for potential antitrust violations. They also claimed it would “make a US organization complicit—and force American golfers and their fans to join this complicity—in the Saudi regime’s latest attempt to sanitize its abuses.”
Rep. John Garamendi proposed a bill to strip the PGA Tour of its tax-exempt status, echoing an inquiry started by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (both also Democrats).
Meanwhile…PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan, the ringleader of the deal—whose comment that it would “take the competitor off the board” has been highlighted in antitrust discussions—took unexplained medical leave as of yesterday.