PGA Tour: Talks with PIF 'continue to accelerate' at NYC meeting

PGA Tour: Talks with PIF 'continue to accelerate' at NYC meeting

Negotiations between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund "continue to accelerate," according to the Tour, following an in-person meeting between the two sides Friday evening in New York City.

In attendance were members of the PGA Tour Enterprises’ Transaction Subcommittee – Jay Monahan, Tour commissioner; Joe Gorder, Enterprises chairman; John Henry, Strategic Sports Group manager; Joe Ogilvie, liaison director of Enterprises board; plus players Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy, the latter of whom joined remotely from Dublin, Ohio, where he’s playing the Memorial. Per the Tour, PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan was among the PIF representatives at the meeting.

Al-Rumayyan last met face to face with Tour board members, including Woods, in the Bahamas the day after The Players in March.

The Tour said that the two sides have also “been meeting multiple times weekly to work through potential deal terms and come to a shared vision on the future of professional golf.” Earlier this week, while speaking to reporters at the Memorial, McIlroy said that number was three times per week.

“There’s going to be people in that room on the PGA Tour side who are going to take the lead,” McIlroy said Thursday at Muirfield Village. “And it’s not going to be Adam, Tiger or I. It’s going to be the business guys. We’re there to maybe give a perspective from a player’s point of view. This is a negotiation about an investment in the PGA Tour Enterprises, this is big-boy stuff. And I’ll certainly be doing more listening than I will be doing talking.”

Said the Transaction Subcommittee in a joint statement:

“We remain committed to these negotiations, which require working through complex considerations to best position golf for global growth. We want to get this right, and we are approaching discussions with careful consideration for our players, our fans, our partners and the game’s future.”

No further details were released, though in a wide-ranging interview with Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch last week, Ogilvie said he believes all sides want a deal to get done.

“I think everybody in golf wants to figure it out,” Ogilvie said. “I mean, the PGA Championship was fantastic. Bryson put on a show, Xander obviously put on a show. It was better when everybody is playing the same events. So there’s a huge incentive to figure this thing out, and there’s a huge incentive on their side as well. I think they wanna do a deal. As far as SSG, they committed to $3 billion. I think that they committed with the hope that there would be another investor, specifically the PIF. There’s plenty of capital on their side, so I think that they would be happy to put in more.

"Now, it’s obviously harder to put in capital when you’ve got someone with deep pockets that is willing to lose a lot of money. That’s a tough thing to juxtapose. So we’ll see. I’m hopeful that something can happen. I think everybody wants it to happen, which is a prerequisite.”