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Tour player directors ‘strongly encouraged’ to meet with Saudis

Tour player directors ‘strongly encouraged’ to meet with Saudis

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Saudi negotiations that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said were “accelerating significantly” are poised to expand to include policy board player directors in a meeting scheduled for next week.

First reported by Golfweek.com, the six player directors — Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Peter Malnati and Webb Simpson — are being “strongly encouraged” to meet with the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund at a private residence in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on Monday.

“I'm not sure that I can say much more other than we're being encouraged to potentially meet with them, but at the same time we probably feel like our membership should know timing and what could happen and just, in general, maybe it's just a meet,” Spieth said following his second round at The Players Championship. “We are being encouraged, obviously, which I think is probably a good thing that the entire board should if there's going to be any potential for a negotiation.”

Monahan offered few details this week when asked about the Tour’s ongoing negotiations with the PIF, and the meeting between the fund’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and the player directors was described as a potential “ice-breaker” in an attempt to move the negotiations along.

“In my position I'm not negotiating and, thank God for everyone, that I'm not. I'm curious to see how that all pans out just like everyone in the game,” Scott said. “I’m as curious as I was to meet any of the investor groups last year, just to put a face to a name and hopefully see that everyone is going into this with the right intent.”

The board of directors for PGA Tour Enterprises, the Tour’s new for-profit arm, was announced last week and includes the six policy board player directors, Monahan and Joe Ogilvie, the former Tour player who was named director liaison. The Enterprises board is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Ponte Vedra Beach. Only Woods was not playing this week’s Players Championship.