Nearly six tumultuous months after the PGA Tour announced a framework agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to reshape professional golf, it appears the controversial sovereign wealth fund still has a solid future in the sport.
Following months of uncertainty over the deal with the financial backers of LIV Golf, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan pointed to a probable scenario that includes the PIF and at least one other outside investor partnering with the PGA Tour.
“When this gets finalized, the PGA Tour is going to be in a position that I talked about earlier, where again, the athletes are owners in their sport, and you’ve got not only the PIF, but you’ve likely got another co-investor, with significant experience in business, in sport and brand,” Monahan said at the The New York Times’ annual DealBook Summit.
The list of additional investors being considered had reportedly been narrowed down to five. But according to a new report, one of those five groups has dropped out: the Friends of Golf Group, a collection of financial titans and Wall Street veterans with a shared love of golf.
Monahan is planning to meet in person with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan next week to expedite negotiations on a definitive agreement. “The [Dec. 31] deadline for our conversations with PIF … is a firm target,” he said.
The update from Monahan is crucial, as PGA Tour members and golf fans alike have been mostly in the dark regarding the PGA Tour’s negotiations with the PIF.
Multiple reports have suggested a final deal won’t be completed by the Dec. 31 deadline, while others have suggested that the additional potential investors could ultimately replace PIF’s involvement altogether.
Earlier this week, Tiger Woods spoke in depth about the PGA Tour-PIF negotiations, making it clear that other options are being considered. The 15-time major champion echoed a desire to hit the Dec. 31 deadline, but also acknowledged that it could be pushed back.