The PGA Tour has regularly attacked the LIV Golf series for being funded by Saudi Arabia. According to the Tour’s allied smear merchants, the checks earned by the likes of Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau are said to be “blood money.”
Commissioner Jay Monahan even refuses to call it LIV Golf, instead opting for ‘The Saudi Golf League’ as a way to foreignize/otherize the startup league.
Yet, if you look at the U.S. tour’s title sponsors, a majority have business relations with Saudi Arabia, and/or footprints inside the Kingdom.
In fact, the PGA Tour’s big-money postseason – the three-tournament series – is entirely title-sponsored by brands with a presence in the Kingdom.
For instance, the Tour’s biggest of all brands, FedEx – the title sponsor of the season-long FedEx Cup race and the postseason’s first tournament (FedEx St Jude Championship), has a “direct presence in Saudi Arabia,” according to tweet last year.
We have officially launched our direct presence in Saudi Arabia, offering easier access to our global network and solutions. We’re ready to bring the largest economy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) even closer to the rest of the world!
Learn more: https://t.co/fuJc7wv2xJ pic.twitter.com/knHcPz4iPX
— FedEx (@FedEx) October 6, 2021
Then you have this week’s BMW Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The German automaker also has a footprint in Saudi Arabia, including its own official Twitter account. Will the winner this week in Delaware earn “blood money?”
We would like to kindly announce the relocation of Our Used Car Showroom is now located at the Automall Branch in Jeddah effective as of 1st August 2022.#BMWSaudiArabia #MyNaghi pic.twitter.com/gBqfoMDrsL
— BMW Saudi Arabia (@BMWsaudiarabia) July 31, 2022
Next week is the Tour Championship Presented by Coca-Cola, which also has a super-sized footprint in the Saudi Kingdom.
— Coca-Cola Middle East (@COCACOLA_ME) June 25, 2018
To recap, the three events which comprise the PGA Tour’s season-ending flagship series are all title sponsored by Saudi Arabia-allied companies (FedEx, BMW and Coca-Cola).
You can’t make it up. And that’s just the start.
The Tour’s flagship tournament, The PLAYERS Championship, has three presenting sponsors which it calls “Proud Partners.” They are: Grant Thornton, Optum and Morgan Stanley. All three do big business with the Saudis.
The Tour then has what’s called the Invitational series, a three-tournament series with each event attached to one of its three icons: Genesis Invitational (Tiger Woods), The Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard (Arnold Palmer) and the Memorial Tournament Presented by Workday (Jack Nicklaus).
You guessed it: all three tournament sponsors are brands (Genesis, Mastercard, Workday) doing business in Saudi Arabia.
Finally, we have the WGC-Dell Match Play, the tour’s eighth and final (non-major) marquee event. Take a bow if you guessed that Dell Technologies can be found in Saudi Arabia!
LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman, recently trolled the anti-LIV media with the following questions: “Why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing 40 plus billion dollars worth of business with Saudi Arabia? Why is it okay for the sponsors?
“Will Jay Monahan go to each and every one of those CEOs of the 23 companies that are investing into Saudi Arabia and suspend them and ban them?
“The hypocrisy in all this, it’s so loud. It’s deafening.”
It’s also mind blowing.
Below are the 27 PGA Tour events with title or presenting sponsors that do business with Saudi Arabia:
- 3M Open (3M)
- Arnold Palmer Invitational (Mastercard)
- AT&T Pebble Beach (AT&T)
- AT&T Byron Nelson (AT&T)
- Barbasol Championship (Barbasol)
- Barracuda Championship (Barracuda)
- BMW Championship (BMW)
- Charles Schwab Challenge (Charles Schwab)
- FedEx St Jude Championship (FedEx)
- Fortinet Championship (Fortinet)
- Genesis Invitational (Genesis)
- Genesis Scottish Open (Genesis)
- Hero World Challenge (Hero)
- John Deere Classic (John Deere)
- RBC Canadian Open (RBC)
- RBC Heritage (RBC)
- Sony Open of Hawaii (Sony)
- The American Express (American Express)
- The Honda Classic (Honda)
- the Memorial Tournament (Workday)
- The PLAYERS Championship (Grant Thornton, Morgan Stanley, Optum)
- The RSM Classic (RSM)
- The TOUR Championship (Coca-Cola)
- Valero Texas Open (Valero)
- Valspar Championship (Valspar)
- WGC-Dell Match Play (Dell Technologies)
- Wyndham Championship (Wyndham)
The four major championships do not have title sponsors but do use presenting type sponsorships, similar to the PLAYERS’ ‘Proud Partners.’ Almost every single “partner” of the four majors does business in the Kingdom.
- The Masters (AT&T, IBM, Mercedes-Benz)
- PGA Championship (AIG, Chase, Club Car, KitchenAid, KPMG, Pepsi, Rolex)
- U.S. Open (American Express, Cisco, Deloitte, Lexus, Rolex)
- The Open (HSBC, Hugo Boss, Mastercard, Mercedes-Benz, NTT Data, Nikon, Rolex)