Tiger Woods, PGA Tour board meet; Saudi PIF deal not assured

Tiger Woods sat in on a PGA Tour coverage board assembly for the primary time on Monday as tour management met to debate the tour’s future.

The board mentioned the PGA Tour’s pending settlement with the Saudi Public Funding Fund (PIF) and spoke about exterior buyers and different choices, in line with the Washington Put up.

In June, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rummayan revealed that the tour had struck a framework settlement with PIF. In doing so, all lawsuits between the tour and LIV Golf had been dropped, and the 2 sides created a deadline of Dec. 31, 2023, to strike a proper take care of extra concrete particulars.

However this association between the 2 events isn’t assured.

“We proceed to stay targeted on our negotiations towards a Definitive Settlement with PIF and the DP World Tour as our precedence,” a memo despatched to gamers on Tuesday morning reads.

“Progress has been deliberate given the advanced nature of the potential settlement, and we are going to maintain you apprised of the progress, with continued enter and path out of your Participant Administrators.”

Jay Monahan, PGA Tour, TOUR Championship

Jay Monahan stands close to the 18th inexperienced through the ultimate spherical of the 2023 Tour Championship.
Photograph by Michael Wade/Getty Pictures

Different potential financiers have emerged not too long ago, together with Fenway Sports activities Group (FSG), which owns the Boston Pink Sox, Liverpool FC, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, amongst different groups.

A kind of different entities consists of the Boston Frequent Golf crew in TGL, the tech-infused golf league created and owned by Woods and Rory McIlroy.

The PGA Tour has held discussions with quite a few American buyers—like FSG—and could possibly be near placing a take care of a number of of those teams within the coming weeks, in line with the Put up’s report.

“Moreover, as you already know, the Framework Settlement with PIF and the DP World Tour generated unsolicited—though not stunning—curiosity from quite a few exterior potential buyers,” Tuesday’s memo reads.

“The chance to probably take part within the transformative progress of the PGA Tour for the primary time introduced forth dozens of inbound prospects… Lots of these prospects moved ahead to a diligence evaluation… and we then acquired vital, formal proposals that show the facility of the PGA Tour model, its gamers, and our industrial alternative.”

Endeavor Group Holdings, which owns IMG media, WWE, and UFC, additionally expressed industrial curiosity within the tour. However these talks supposedly broke down, which prompted a wild rant from PGA Tour dissident Phil Mickelson.

However, talks between the Tour and the PIF will probably prolong into 2024 earlier than breaking down altogether. The 2 sides nonetheless have a lot to resolve, together with, however not restricted to, scheduling, participant reinstatement, and, after all, capital funding.

However apparently, McIlroy, who sits on the PGA Tour coverage board alongside Woods, and who has lengthy been a stark opponent of LIV Golf, has come round to the thought of the PIF investing within the tour.

Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, The Masters

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods observe forward of the 2023 Masters.
Photograph by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Pictures

“I’d hope after we undergo this course of, the PIF are those which might be concerned within the framework settlement,” McIlroy mentioned final week whereas showing on CNBC to advertise TGL.

“Clearly, there have been different suitors which were concerned and providing their companies and their assist. However hopefully, when that is all mentioned and accomplished, I sincerely hope that the PIF is concerned, and we are able to deliver the sport of golf again collectively.”

Golf has by no means been as divided as it’s right this moment, and a chance exists amongst PGA Tour management and the PIF to bridge that hole.

But, loads of variations nonetheless have to be resolved.

That mentioned, Monday’s assembly in Ponta Vedra Seaside, Florida, was considerably productive.

Patrick Cantlay, who at the moment serves as Participant Director of the board, was permitted to serve on this capability by way of 2026.

Different gamers on this board embody Charley Hoffman, Peter Malnati, Webb Simpson, McIlroy, and Woods. Adam Scott additionally serves in a management capability.

Then, Ed Herlihy, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer who helped negotiate the preliminary framework settlement with PIF, will proceed to function Coverage Board Chairman by way of 2027.

The Tour additionally introduced that Joe Gorder, the Government Chairman of Valero Power Company, will be part of the PGA Tour Coverage Board.

Jack Milko is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By. You’ll be able to comply with him on Twitter @jack_milko for extra golf protection. You should definitely try @_PlayingThrough too.

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