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The Wall Street Journal: Federal antitrust probe of professional golf includes Masters host Augusta National Golf Club, U.S. Golf Association and PGA Tour: sources

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The Justice Department’s antitrust investigation into professional golf includes the powerhouse bodies Augusta National Golf Club and the United States Golf Association, in addition to the PGA Tour, according to people familiar with the matter. 

The PGA Tour is battling the upstart, Saudi-backed LIV Golf’s bid to establish a rival golf tour that has already lured away a number of star players. The DOJ antitrust division’s scrutiny of the PGA Tour was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in July. Players’ agents have received inquiries about the tour’s bylaws as they pertain to players’ participation in non–PGA Tour events, and the Tour’s actions relating to LIV Golf. 

The DOJ investigation, however, is wider than was previously known, extending to some of the other most important bodies in golf. People familiar with the matter said those groups include Augusta National, which oversees the iconic Masters tournament each spring. The famously secretive club has produced documents for the Justice Department probe, these people said. 

A spokeswoman for Augusta National declined to comment. Craig Waldman, a lawyer at Jones Day representing Augusta National in the matter, had no comment. 

The USGA, which governs the sport in the U.S. and oversees the U.S. Open, is also a subject of the investigation, a USGA spokeswoman confirmed. The USGA intends to fully comply with any and all requests, the spokeswoman said. 

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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