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Rory McIlroy laments ‘concerning’ development in PGA Tour-PIF stalemate

Rory McIlroy described Jimmy Dunne’s resignation from the PGA Tour Policy Board as “a huge loss” and revealed he’d lost confidence in a deal between the PGA Tour and the PIF…

 

Rory McIlroy has painted a bleak picture of the PGA Tour’s negotiations with the Public Investment Fund.

Having been asked what he felt about Jimmy Dunne’s resignation from the PGA Tour Policy Board, McIlroy said the tour is “in a worse place” and it is a “concerning” development that has stalled talks between the two entities.

Dunne, the vice-chairman of an investment bank in America and member of several prestigious US golf clubs, was instrumental in bringing together the PGA Tour and the Saudi group which bankrolls the LIV Golf League, ahead of the infamous June 6 agreement.

The PGA Tour and the PIF stunned the world when forming this alliance last summer, having experienced months of hostility and legal tension, while courtroom battles were put to one side as part of the peace deal. But after saying there’d been no “meaningful progress” in a letter to the board this week, Dunne resigned effective immediately.

“Honestly I think it’s a huge loss for the PGA Tour, if they are trying to get this deal done with the PIF and trying to unify the game. Jimmy was basically the relationship, the sort of conduit between the PGA Tour and PIF,” McIlroy said at the PGA Championship.

rory mcilroy pga tour policy board

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ALSO: Who is Jimmy Dunne?

Rory McIlroy: Jimmy Dunne resignation represents a concerning sign of negotiations

“It’s been really unfortunate that he has not been involved for the last few months, and I think part of the reason that everything is stalling at the minute is because of that. So it is, it’s really, really disappointing, and you know, I think the tour is in a worse place because of it. We’ll see. We’ll see where it goes from here and we’ll see what happens.

“But you know, I would say my confidence level on something getting done before last week was, you know, as low as it had been and then with this news of Jimmy resigning and knowing the relationship he has with the other side, and how much warmth there is from the other side, it’s concerning.”

Dunne also wrote in his letter that his vote had become “superfluous” now that there were more player directors on the policy board than independent directors, having been outnumbered by six people to five.

The talks between the PGA Tour and the PIF appear stuck in a quagmire, which could partly be down to the PGA Tour’s multi-billion dollar deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), a US-based sports investment consortium.

Tiger Woods, one of the six player directors, said he was surprised by Dunne’s resignation but similar to McIlroy, he emphasised the importance of Dunne’s role in brokering talks with the PIF.

McIlroy recently attempted to rejoin the policy board which he left in November, but his return was allegedly vetoed by Woods, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay.

Instead, McIlroy has joined the new PGA Tour Enterprises’ Transaction Subcommittee which is in charge of negotiations with the PIF. Woods and Adam Scott are the other three player representatives on this seven-person board which also includes PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. Dunne never sat on this subcommittee.

In his press conference on Wednesday, McIlroy didn’t address any issues about his private life or his divorce from his wife Erica Stoll.

NOW READ: Rory McIlroy files for divorce

NOW READ: Who is Rory McIlroy’s wife?

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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