The US Justice Department is investigating the PGA Tour over possible antitrust violations involving LIV Golf, the PGA Tour confirmed to CNN Tuesday.
“This was not unexpected,” a PGA Tour spokesperson said in a statement. “We went through this in 1994, and we are confident in a similar outcome.”
The Justice Department and LIV Golf declined to comment.
In June, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced all golfers playing in the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series were suspended and would no longer be eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournaments.
LIV Golf issued a statement last month calling the PGA’s move “vindictive.”
Several top golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka have joined LIV, which is fronted by former world No. 1 Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
The breakaway series has held two tournaments so far, in London and near Portland, Oregon.
In June, Monahan indicated LIV represents a serious threat to the success of the PGA Tour.
“If this is an arms race and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can’t compete,” he said. “The PGA Tour, an American institution, can’t compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in an attempt to buy the game of golf.
“We welcome good, healthy competition. The LIV Saudi Golf League is not that. It’s an irrational threat; one not concerned with the return on investment or true growth of the game.”