Apparently all is not well behind the hush-hush closed doors of the of the big, fat Saudi money source that is putting up the billions to fund the LIV Golf exhibition series.
It was just about a year ago when Atul Khosla left the friendly confines of One Buccaneer Place in Tampa to take on the position as Chief Operating Officer for LIV.
It came to light that he abandoned ship shortly after the final LIV event of the season, calling it quits and leave it to the London-based Telegraph news searchers to come up with some inside info on why.
According to The Telegraph, Khosla was summoned to the well-appointed office of one Yasir Al-Rumayyan — who just happens to be the governor of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. In that meeting, The Telegraph claims that Khosla got into a “heat exchange” with Al-Rumayyan.
When he was with the Buccaneers, Khosla oversaw work with sponsors and corporate backers for the Tampa Bay NFL franchise — which isn’t all that tough when you consider the popularity of the NFL and how companies just love to be associated with NFL teams, especially ones like the Buccaneers, who won Super Bowl XLV (55) with the GOAT — Tom Brady at the helm.
Now LIV’s future, according to its marketing plans, is dependent on convincing some super rich around the globe to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for what will be “teams” in a team-oriented competition. Said teams are supposed to become self-sufficient, getting big money and paying those players big money through corporate sponsorships.
Perhaps Al-Rumayyan expected Khosla to do for LIV what he did for the two-time Super Bowl champions.
Perhaps Al-Rymayyan expected corporate sponsors to already be knocking on LIV’s door.
When you hear “heated exchange” — well, that usually means that there was some screaming, yelling or very raised voices in the least. So wisely, Atul Khosla decided to get the hell out before the Saudis got really angry with him and we’ve seen what can happen when the Crown Prince is pissed off at someone.
So Atul is headed to his next destination but he’s not the first to leave this leaky ship. Back in May, Chief Commercial Office Sean Bratches got the heck out eight days after The Lamest Commissioner In All The Land (aka Greg Norman) showed his total ignorance with a regrettable comment regarding the (alleged) murder of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, a correspondent for the Washington Post who was highly critical of Crown Prince MBS and the Saudi regime.
After that resignation, The Lamest Commissioner In All The Land (aka The Great White Dud), bragged that former TaylorMade CEO Mark King was going to replace Bratches. One of Norman’s bosses, Majed All-Sorour, basically said what Norman claimed was false info. For shame!
So obviously Governor Al-Rumayyan has a lot to do with what’s going on behind the LIV closed doors.
And the PGA Tour believes that and is seeking deposition/testimony from Al-Rumayyan as part of the lawsuit initiated by LIV.
The Saudis are trying to squash that, claiming Al-Rymayyan should have “sovereign immunity” from having to provide testimony.
Sovereign or not, apparently not all is well behind closed doors in The Kingdom.
And don’t look for much clarification from Atul Kholsa. He no doubt signed all sorts of Confidentiality Agreements as part of his employment contract.
And at the end of the day, Kholsa won’t want to walk that plank of criticizing the Saudis.
Antoine Rozner Wins Third DP World Title:
Antoine Rozner started Sunday with a two-shot lead at the Mauritius Open and never looked back.
The Frenchman fashioned a final round 67 at Mont Choisy Le Golf and picked up his third title on the DP World Tour, recording a 19-under par total.
An eagle and three birdies over the first nine holes basically closed the door on the competition.
Spaniard Alfredo Garcia-Heredia finished alone in second at 14 under after a closing 67.
“Unbelievable. It’s a tough game. We practice so hard all year long and a win is a win and I’m so glad I got this done,” Rozner said afterward. “It’s so hard to win so I’m just so happy. I didn’t know anything about the scores, I didn’t want to have a look. I knew I was in the lead. I knew if I kept playing like this there was going to be no issue at the end but it was so hard.
“I started hitting bad shots so I think with my caddie, we did a really good job to stay focused and stay in the moment and not think about the scores and the other guys. “We did an amazing job today.”