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Tiger Woods says 'a lot of different endings' were discussed in latest Saudi PIF meeting

Tiger Woods says 'a lot of different endings' were discussed in latest Saudi PIF meeting

PINEHURST, N.C. – Tiger Woods echoed comments from Rory McIlroy and the PGA Tour that last week’s meeting between the circuit’s transaction subcommittee and representatives from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund were “productive.”

Woods, who attended the meeting in New York City in person, said both sides continue to make progress on a potential deal that would reunite the game under a new, for-profit entity, PGA Tour Enterprises, and end the two-year turf war between the circuit and the Saudi-funded LIV Golf league.

“It was productive. And is there light at the end of tunnel? I think we're closer to that point than we were pre-meeting,” Woods said Tuesday at the U.S. Open.

Members of the transaction subcommittee – which includes Woods, McIlroy, Adam Scott and Strategic Sports Group’s John Henry – met with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan in March in the Bahamas and although that meeting was also characterized as “progress” there was an acknowledgment that the two sides remained far apart on some issues.

Those issues, specifically how LIV Golf’s team concept could be incorporated into the for-profit model along with the complexities of bringing players who were suspended for joining the breakaway circuit back to the Tour, continue to be talking points. But Woods’ tone suggested the gulf between the two camps is being bridged.

“We discussed a lot of different endings and how we get there,” Woods explained. “I think that both sides walked away from the meeting, we all felt very positive in that meeting. Both sides were looking at different ways to get to the end game. I think that both sides shared a deep passion for how we need to get there. And yes, there are going to be differences of opinion, but we all want the same thing.”

According to a statement from the Tour that was sent following last Friday’s meeting, “our negotiations with [PIF] have accelerated in recent months” and the two sides “have been meeting multiple times weekly to work through potential deal terms.”

Last June’s framework agreement between the Tour and PIF ended the litigation between the two sides and opened the door to negotiations toward a definitive agreement, but despite a Dec. 31, 2023 deadline, that outcome remains elusive.