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LIV Golf Has Anti-Trust Act

In the past year, the previously indomitable PGA Tour, a staple of the world golf scene, has seen a potential threat arise. The Saudia Arabian LIV Golf tournament, with its three days of competition and thus 54 holes (instead of the traditional 72), has established a considerable presence on the professional golf scene. Not only has LIV Golf garnered playing time on some of the most prestigious golf courses in the United States and around the world, but it has also attracted some of golf’s greatest talents. Thirteen golfers involved with LIV Golf have won a major tournament on the PGA Tour and four of them, including Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, have been ranked World #1 at some point in their careers. 


Although I believe that competition fosters healthy business practices and growth, in this case, I believe that the golf world should continue an exclusive focus on the PGA Tour. 


In the past, Saudi Arabia has committed many human rights violations, sanctioned by the state and its Crown Prince. These include the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, public executions, and arbitrary arrests against dissidents. To give a more favorable image of the country to those abroad, the state has used sports-washing campaigns as propaganda to divert attention from many of its terrible abuses in recent years. LIV Golf is owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, controlled directly by the Crown Prince. For example, the Gulf nation has hosted numerous global sports events, including an annual Formula 1 Grand Prix and titular boxing fights. During such events, the world focuses on the grandeur and power of the nation and views it as a company that should be visited or traded with.


In order for this image of a new nation without such human rights abuses to be procured, LIV Golf and other entertainment ventures must be received positively by Western audiences. Therefore, to prevent the washing away of all the wrongs of the Saudi state, Americans should keep watching and attending PGA Tour events rather than LIV Golf.


A recent anti-trust case has been filed by LIV Golf against the PGA Tour. However, that plan backfired, as the PGA Tour filed a countersuit. In this, LIV Golf divulged that its revenue was “virtually zero.” If LIV Golf was truly serious about making a profitable rival to the PGA Tour that was a legitimate investment, then surely they would be able to make some revenue after one full season. Profit for a new business is completely different from revenue; the lack of any revenue is certainly telling about the selfish objectives of the company; it merely exists to promote Saudi Arabia’s reputation.


We, as a nation, should not accept this new company wishing to disrupt the great game of golf with sinister motivations. Rather, as the traditional golfing tour, the PGA Tour should remain the gold standard for golf. Thus, American golf fans should attend PGA Tour events, watch live coverage of PGA Tour events on TV, and not pay attention to the events of the LIV Tour by either attending events or watching remotely.

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