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Friday, June 14, 2024

PGA Tour Players Get More Say On Billion-Dollar Saudi Deal

  • The PGA Tour is seeking input from players on how to reward those who stayed loyal.
  • Players will have a say in a new influential member of the Tour's policy board.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

After expressing frustration and confusion in the wake of the PGA Tour’s bombshell framework agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, professional golfers appear intent on grabbing more control of their future.

On Wednesday night, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sent a memo to players attempting to answer several hot-button questions after a Player Advisory Council call and Policy Board meeting. The two biggest developments concern the respective compensation and discipline for loyal Tour players and LIV Golf defectors, plus the selection of a new board member. 

A player benefits program is being put together with input from loyal Tour members, while a task force evaluates how LIV players should be able to apply for reinstatement. Monahan said the benefits program — likely for players who turned down hundreds of millions of dollars to join LIV — would be “financially significant.” 

Additionally, a replacement for Randall Stephenson — who resigned because of the PIF deal — will need unanimous approval from the policy board, including the five players serving as members. That means whoever is chosen will likely be a strong ally for players moving forward.

No So Fast

Another major piece of news from Monahan’s memo is that the PGA Tour does not plan on supporting the USGA and R&A’s proposed distance rollback on how far golf balls travel. A lack of collaboration from the PGA Tour would be a major blow to the governing bodies’ plans to start reining in distance — particularly on tee shots — beginning in 2026.

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