Matt Coles reports on the latest from the US Senate sub-committee hearing on the framework agreement between PIF and the PGA Tour
The “Best of Both Worlds” presentation from PCP Capital Partners, part of the ownership group of Premier League side Newcastle United, advocate a potential long-term agreement between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
And McIlroy and Woods owning LIV Golf teams, and playing in at least 10 LIV Golf events, is one of the surprise inclusions.
The papers were released on Tuesday morning prior to a hearing of the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations called to discuss the proposed agreement between the PGA Tour and PIF.
More than a month has passed since the original framework agreement was signed by all parties and announced.
Woods allegedly turned down an offer of more than $700 million to join LIV Golf, while McIlroy became the PGA Tour’s most vocal supporter in its battle against the breakaway league.
When the framework agreement was announced, the Northern Irishman exclaimed: “I still hate LIV”, but made a distinction between LIV Golf and the PIF.
The documents also reveal proposals for a LIV Golf-style team event – a “World Golf Series – including players from PGA Tour, LIV, and the LPGA Tour. This event would include 16 teams, with the team captains drafting their teams live on TV.
There would also be the possibility of introducing national teams into this event, which would end up with a final week in Dubai.
That would follow qualifying events in Saudi Arabia, while all of the TV revenue would flow directly to LIV and the PIF.
Other proposals in the presentation include a global golf investment fund, which would be managed by PIF, and there would be a minimum of two PGA high-profile events to be sponsored by Aramco and/or PIF, with one of these events to be held in Saudi Arabia.
Finally, and on a more personal note for Governor Al-Rumayyan, he would become a Director of the International Golf Federation, and he would also receive a membership to Augusta National and to the R&A.
In addition to the framework, PGA Tour officials requested a side agreement specifying that LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and golf agency Performance 54 would not be retained by LIV Golf.
During the senate hearing, it was said by Jimmy Dunne the PIF investment in the PGA Tour would be “north of $1 billion”. He did not say whether that would be a single investment or whether there would be future investments from PIF.
LIV Golf, PIF and PGA Tour Timeline
- October 2021 – PIF launched LIV Golf, a new golf league set to rival the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour
- February 2022 – PGA Tour CEO Jay Monahan said any PGA Tour players leaving for LIV would receive lifetime suspensions from the PGA Tour
- August 2022 – 11 players who left PGA Tour to join LIV Golf filed an antitrust lawsuit, and were joined shortly after by LIV Golf
- September 2022 – PGA Tour countersued, alleging LIV Golf was stifling competition and that they improperly interfered with PGA Tour players’ contracts
- December 2022 – Earliest known outreach regarding the possibility of an agreement between PGA and PIF
- April 18, 2023 – PGA Tour board member Jimmy Dunne initiated contact with Governor Al-Rumayyan
- April 23-24, 2023 – Dunne and Al-Rumayyan meet in London
- April 26, 2023 – PCP Capital Partners presented slideshow “Best of Both Worlds”, containing proposals for a potential long-term agreement between PIF and PGA Tour
- May/June 2023 – Members of the PGA Tour, PIF, PCP and DP World Tour all meet several times
- May 2023 – At least eight drafts of framework agreement were exchanged between parties
- May 30, 2023 – Framework agreement signed by all parties
- June 5, 2023 – Framework agreement between PGA TOUR and PIF announced
- July 11, 2023 – Senate hearing over framework agreement between PGA TOUR and PIF
You can see the entire documents, which were released on Tuesday here.
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