Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia golf helps Greg Norman sportswash
LIV Golf Invitational, bankrolled by Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, helps stars like Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson sportswash. The PGA isn't pleased.
The most controversial tournament in golf history teed off at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, England, on Thursday, threatening to upend a century-old professional tour in the process.
The LIV Golf Invitational is a breakaway series made possible by the largesse of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund that has managed to attract some of the biggest names in golf with enormous financial incentives, including major championship winners Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, as well as Ryder Cup standouts like Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood. (The LIV Golf Investments CEO is Greg Norman, the Australian golf icon.)
But LIV Golf’s success in drawing in some of golf’s biggest names has raised concerns about the future of the sport.
The newfound series will take place over the course of eight tournament events, with prize money totaling $225 million — the most in golf history.
But LIV Golf’s success in drawing in some of golf’s biggest names has raised concerns about the future of the sport. The PGA Tour — the organizer of the main professional golf tours — responded by issuing suspensions to the 17 players who signed on to participate, barring them from competing in PGA events. It has also led human rights activists and organizations to accuse the Saudi-backed event of sportswashing — a term used to describe the practice of investing in sports events to polish a controversial country’s image on the international stage and to distract from accusations of human rights violations.