By Rory Carroll
- Former U.S. Secretary of State and Augusta National member Condoleezza Rice attempted to use her influence to stop the U.S. Department of Justice from launching an anti-trust investigation into the PGA Tour, rival circuit LIV Golf said.
The Saudi-backed upstart league made the assertion in a California federal court as part of the anti-trust lawsuit it filed against PGA last year.
It is requesting the court grant subpoenas for communications between PGA officials and Rice and other members of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the prestigious Masters tournament.
An attorney for the PGA Tour and the U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Rice could not be reached for a request for comment.
"The glimpses LIV has seen of Augusta members' involvement in the Tour's alleged illegal conduct reveal why the Tour and its directors seek to conceal these communications from discovery," LIV said in the filing on Monday.
LIV golfers who have been barred from the PGA Tour were ultimately invited to compete at this year's Masters, which begins on April 6.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles)