Augusta National Golf Club under investigation by DOJ

Justin Thomas putts for a birdie on No. 16 during the final round of the Masters at Augusta...
Justin Thomas putts for a birdie on No. 16 during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 10, 2022.(Hunter Martin | Hunter Martin/Augusta National)
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 4:32 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Augusta National Golf Club Under Investigation has been wrapped up in the Department of Justice’s antitrust probe into the PGA Tour.

The PGA Tour is under investigation for potential antitrust violations as it tries to fend off a challenge from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf. The DOJ’s investigation has widened beyond the tour and now includes entities such as the PGA of America, the United States Golf Association and Augusta National Golf Club.

The DOJ has asked players’ agents about the PGA Tour’s bylaws about players’ participation in other golf events. PGA Tour bylaws prevent players from playing in non-Tour televised golf events without the express consent of the PGA Commissioner. Players are eligible for three such releases a season, but none are granted for events outside North America.

The first LIV Golf event took place in London and the two most recent events were in Thailand and Saudi Arabia. The PGA Commissioner suspended players who participated in the London event.

LIV Golf is currently pursuing an antitrust case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit accuses Augusta National of pressuring players against joining LIV by threatening to disinvite players from the Masters if they joined LIV.

The PGA countersued, saying LIV engaged in “tortious interference with the Tour’s contracts with its members.” Some members of Congress have also accused the DOJ of helping the Saudi government by opening the investigation.