Leaf Golf: The Saudi Financial Rush

Tons of money. That’s what has rocked the world of professional golf internationally since the spring. And when that money comes from an almost inexhaustible and controversial source like the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the stakes go beyond the sport. Immerse yourself in the parallel world of the new LIV Golf League.

Round 2 of the Bedminster Championship will be presented from the LIV golf course at 1pm on TVA Sports 2.

Deals worth $200 million to Phil Mickelson, $150 million to Dustin Johnson, $125 million to Bryson DeChambeau, and $100 million to Brooks Koepka. With chests full and pockets full, nothing can stop the leaders of the league that kicked off last June led by Greg Norman, who wants to attract VIPs, many of whom are on the decline.

LIV Golf has been having discussions for months that are dividing players and washing away the sport’s ecosystem by saying it has created a new way to present golf.

So the Journal traveled to the location of the third championship in LIV’s inaugural season schedule this week, in rustic Bedminster New Jersey, to observe and learn about the menacing beast.

“Take the money”

The three-day tournament takes place on the track of former US President Donald Trump. The 45th head of state is already in the monarchy. He was the one who recently urged professional golfers to jump on the money offered by the new organization in a controversial statement: “Take the money.”

Because by putting up great performances for the big stars in the professional circuits of the PGA and DP World Tour in Europe, LIV literally steals their product.

Greg Norman has been toying with the idea of ​​creating an opposition circle since the 1990s, and has succeeded in persuading the Saudi authorities to invest in his project.

Claws around the world

If you delve into the array of financial interests of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund, which is the most opaque in the world, you can see that its tentacles extend across the planet, across the board. Whether in energy, real estate, technology, finance or sports.

From Riyadh to Los Angeles, passing through London and even … Quebec, through Blackstone, a giant American company linked to the Public Investment Fund.

When a customer jumps in an Uber, he’s fattening the Saudi Fund.

When a passenger boards a Boeing plane, the box is fattened.

When a viewer joins the Disney Channel or the Mickey Mouse Country family visits, they fatten the box. When a player plays on Nintendo, they fatten the chest. It has more than 200 investments worldwide.

By 2030, the Saudi Vision 2030 plan aims to continue diversifying its investments. Experts expect the portfolio to expand to more than $2 trillion.

This fund, whose grandfather is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also invested in the world of sports.

He is the largest owner of football club Newcastle United, in the English Premier League. Through the national oil and gas company and the world’s largest oil company, Aramco, it is one of six major partners in Formula 1. And now, in golf, it is fully supporting the new LIV League financially.

Golden bets

Given the political, social, and legal stakes, to name a few, and stern reporting targeting Saudi Arabia, experts believe the country is applying sports theory.

By flooding the sports market with money, the Saudi Public Investment Fund is seeking to restore its image. An image marred by the mockery of human rights, the war in Yemen, and the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Among other things.

Nazi Germany borrowed the same strategy by hosting the 1936 Olympic Games. Russia also in 2014 during the Sochi Games and in 2018 during the FIFA World Cup. China did the same at the Beijing Olympics last winter. A common point uniting these groups of planetary sporting events: inclusivity.

Thus, the new renegade union is not unanimous on all these reasons. It’s hard to worry about the ball.

Golfers have been accused of stealing dirty money, and have come under fire from critics and attacks from fans, both on the field and online. One of them, Graeme McDowell, received serious threats.

Those who have chosen to forgo the PGA circuit and the DP World Tour (European circuit) are prohibited…for now. Judicial investigations are also underway in the US to see if the PGA Tour is respecting antitrust laws.

The really hungry wolf has just entered the barn. Nothing indicates that she is about to leave. In fact, he is adapting his strategies and attacks.

Leave a Comment