January 6, 2024

PGA Tour issues update on LIV Golf merger after deadline blow | Golf | Sport

The PGA Tour has confirmed that it has extended its framework agreement deadline with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) after the initial December 31 target was missed. The PGA Tour shocked the world of sport last June, after announcing its intention to work alongside the Saudi fund.

The agreement announcement last summer confirmed the Tour’s intentions to work in unison with LIV Golf after a year-long battle. Almost seven months on though, the two sides are still yet to sign off a deal to bring golf’s civil war to an end.

Hours before the December 31 deadline was missed, Tour bosses provided a key update on the plans for the proposed merger moving forward after sending a memo to their playing membership. The statement read: “With just hours until the Dec. 31 expiration date for the Framework Agreement with the PIF and DP World Tour, the memo spoke to an effort to extend the deadline into the new year based on the progress made to date. Monahan categorised the PIF and DP World Tour discussions as ‘active and productive.”

Less than one month ago the PGA Tour also announced that it was also set to reach an agreement with U.S.-based investor Strategic Sports Group (SSG) as part of their for-profit entity, alongside their dealings with PIF. The deal is set to see SSG pump in an eye-watering reported £2.4billion ($3bn) into PGA Tour Enterprises.

And alongside their Saudi update, the American-based circuit also provided the latest on their plans with SSG, stating: “Monahan noted that we have made ‘meaningful progress’ in negotiations with SSG and are currently working toward finalisation of terms and drafting necessary documents.”

The partnership with the American investor raised eyebrows within the sport, with doubt cast over the PGA Tour’s agreement with the Saudi fund. The statement reassured however that there were plans for both investors to work in unison with the Tour as part of the for-profit entity.

The statement added: “The memo restated the TOUR’s goal relative to all negotiations, which is to bring SSG, PIF and the DP World Tour on board as minority co-investors in PGA Tour Enterprises in 2024. Monahan said, “These partnerships will allow us to unify, innovate and invest in the game for the benefit of the players, fans and sponsors.”

The update comes just days before the Tour kicks off its 2024 campaign at the Sentry Tournament of Champions this Thursday. There event will be without its defending champion though, after Jon Rahm had his Tour membership suspended due to his mega-money move to LIV Golf last month.


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