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PGA Tour files lawsuit against LIV Golf's Saudi financers

The PGA Tour filed a lawsuit Friday against Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and its governor as part of the legal battle between the tour and LIV Golf.

The tour's attorneys filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in an attempt to force evidence discovery. They are looking to depose PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan and compel the Saudis to produce documents as part of the ongoing legal tussle between the PGA and LIV.

The PIF financially backs the LIV Golf Invitational Series, which has peeled off several of the best golfers in the world from the PGA this year. It is controlled by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and governed by Al-Rumayyan, who is also the chairman of Golf Saudi and the English Premier League club Newcastle United.

Eleven members of LIV Golf sued the PGA to challenge their suspensions from the tour, which were a consequence of playing in the first LIV event without the PGA's permission. Eight of the 11 players have since taken their names off the lawsuit.

The PGA countersued Sept. 29, saying LIV induced the likes of Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to breach their contracts with the PGA.

Arguments for summary judgment are scheduled for July 13, 2023. If it goes to trial, it would begin Jan. 8, 2024.

Critics say the LIV Golf series is a large-scale effort to "sportswash" Saudi Arabia's human rights record and improve its global image.

The series kicked off in June and seven tournaments have been played in England, the U.S., Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Its season finale, a team championship, is set for next week at Trump Doral in Miami.

--Field Level Media