Mié. Abr 17th, 2024

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and player directors from the tour’s policy board met with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, in the Bahamas on Monday, a meeting that could be an important step in reuniting men’s professional golf.

On Monday, X accounts tracked planes owned by the PGA Tour, the PIF and player director Tiger Woods (as well as the 15-time major champion’s yacht) to Nassau, Bahamas. A plane owned by Fenway Sports Group principal owner John Henry, who owns the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins and Liverpool FC, also arrived in the Bahamas on Monday.

Monahan sent a memo to PGA Tour members Monday night, confirming the meeting but offering few details. Golfers Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Peter Malnati, Patrick Cantlay and Adam Scott are the other player directors.

«The conversation throughout was constructive and represents an important part of our due diligence process in selecting potential investors for PGA Tour Enterprises,» Monahan wrote in the letter. «This mirrors the approach we employed earlier this year as we evaluated an investment offer from the Strategic Sports Group. During the session, Yasir had a chance to introduce himself to our player directors and talk through his vision, priorities and motivations for investing in professional golf.

«As we continue these discussions with the PIF, we will keep you updated as much as possible, but please understand that we need to maintain our position of not conducting negotiations in public. To that end, we will provide no further comments to the media at this time.»

The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the PIF formed a surprising alliance on June 6 after Monahan and other PGA Tour executives negotiated a framework agreement with the PIF in secret.

The framework agreement expired Dec. 31, but was extended as the sides continued to negotiate a potential deal.

On Jan. 31, Strategic Sports Group, a consortium of billionaire team owners, athletes and others, announced it was investing as much as $3 billion into PGA Tour Enterprises, a new for-profit entity that will oversee commercial properties of the PGA Tour. SSG made an initial investment of $1.5 billion.

If a deal is reached with the PIF, another $3 billion could potentially be invested in PGA Tour Enterprises, according to sources. The PIF, with estimated assets of more than $775 billion, has financed the rival LIV Golf League the past three years.

Among the issues that were supposed to be discussed during the meeting were LIV golfers’ pathways back to the PGA Tour and what potential punishment they could face, and team golf’s position in the sport’s future.

Rory McIlroy and other golfers, including player directors, have urged the PGA Tour in recent weeks to get a deal done with the PIF.

«I think it should have happened months ago, so I am glad that it’s happening,» McIlroy said of the meeting. «Hopefully, that progresses conversations and gets us closer to a solution.»

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