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Saturday, March 2, 2024

In Light of More Player Defection Talk, PGA Tour Pens Optimistic Memo

  • Players on policy board look to convey sense of calm, optimism.
  • Defection talk continues to surround the PGA Tour.
Danielle Parhizkaran / USA TODAY NETWORK

After several weeks of increased public chatter regarding the still-tenuous PGA Tour-Saudi Arabia PIF deal and potential further player defections to LIV Golf, the Tour’s policy board is now looking to calm fellow players. 

Player directors of the policy board sent a two-page memo to players, looking to convey a tone of optimism regarding the PIF negotiations and the Tour’s overall outlook.

“The player directors have been doing everything we can to ensure the PGA Tour is best positioned to thrive for decades to come,” the memo from Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Charley Hoffman, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Peter Malnati, and Adam Scott reads. “We have learned a lot, and we are encouraged by progress on multiple fronts.”

Among the specific messages within the memo:

• Negotiations with the PIF and DP World Tour continue, and parties are “working diligently toward the Dec. 31 deadline.”

• Full consensus within the board will be reached before a vote is contemplated on creating a new for-profit entity.

• Outside investors, described as increasingly likely by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, are seen as particularly additive. “These are not traditional private equity groups … but rather multi-decade-oriented strategic partners. Each group is optimistic about the growth opportunities for the Tour.”

• No major decision in the future will be made “without the prior involvement and approval of the player directors.”

Defection Talk

After defending Master champion Jon Rahm has been courted with a reported $600 million offer to join LIV, Woods also offered a more cautious tone when asked at the Hero World Challenge about the possibility of further player defections.

“Things have changed and will continue to change. Our deadline’s coming up soon, so there’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of different things are happening very quickly,” he said. ”We don’t have a lot of time. Everything is now at a time crunch. It’s 24 hours a day just trying to figure it out.”

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