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tiger woods pif meeting

Tiger Woods ‘would like PIF as part of the PGA Tour’ – but there’s a catch…

Tiger Woods addressed the mammoth investment into the PGA Tour from SSG and what this could mean for the framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund…

 

Tiger Woods said the PGA Tour want a deal with the Public Investment Fund, but the financial benefits are no longer urgent.

Speaking at the Genesis Invitational, Woods revealed talks are ongoing with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund which bankrolls LIV Golf, but also said the tour had now secured an investment as big as the one touted in last year’s framework agreement.

This investment has come by way of a deal not with the PIF, but with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), a US-based sports consortium that has agreed to invest $3 billion into the PGA Tour.

The deal with SSG somewhat overtook the progress made with the PIF which was meant to be cemented by December 31 and Woods believes that, if eventually agreed, this long-awaited deal would take the PGA Tour “above and beyond” their original monetary expectations.

“The consortium, SSG, the partners have come together to be a part of this group, (it) is quite remarkable, to be honest with you, in the sports industry,” he said at Riviera Country Club.

“They are unbelievable leaders and at a time when we need great leadership going forward, I think that this elicits that. It has amazing brains and ideas that can make this tour better and we’re looking forward to that.

“The PIF deal is ongoing. SSG, we have solidified our agreement with them and PIF is still ongoing and we are still negotiating.

“Ultimately we would like to have PIF be a part of our tour and a part of our product. But financially, we don’t now,” he added.

“And so with SSG and the amount of monies that they have come to the table with and what we initially had agreed to in the framework agreement, those are all the same numbers.

“So, anything beyond this is going to be obviously over and above. We’re in a great position right now, hopefully, we can make our product better in the short term and long term.”

The PIF’s financial power cannot be overstated and the PGA Tour wanted to harness this power when annoucing thier alliance last summer. The LIV Golf League hosted 13 regular season events in 2023 each with a prize purse of $25 million, documenting the size of the Saudi pots of gold.

In August of last year, Woods joined the PGA Tour Policy Board as one of six player directors. This appointment was made two months after the PGA Tour announced the framework agreement with the PIF, which no player had any inkling of until it was made public.

tiger woods genesis

Woods has since asserted towards PGA Tour chief executive Jay Monahan that this level of secrecy can’t happen again as much outrage and fury was aimed at the tour’s head of state from several players at the time.

As a player director, Woods has already seen a deal signed with SSG which could see nearly 200 players access up to $1.5 billion in equity based on their past and present performances.

While talking to the media in Los Angeles, Woods also revealed he hadn’t personally met with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan or any representative from the group worth a reportedly astronomic figure of $776 billion.

ALSO: What clubs does Tiger Woods use?

Tiger Woods press conference addresses the idea of returning LIV Golfers

In recent weeks on the PGA Tour, a handful of stars have been asked if they believe players who left to join LIV Golf for multi-million dollar fees should be allowed back.

Rory McIlroy, who left his role as a player director on the policy board alongside Woods in November, seems the lone voice in welcoming the rebels’ return without punishment.

Scottie Scheffler, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas have all voiced their opposition to allowing their former fellow members back as if nothing had ever happened.

Since LIV Golf’s inception, hostility has dominated the professional game with verbal spats and courtroom battles, which were eventually put to bed when the PGA Tour and the PIF opened a dialogue last summer.

Woods didn’t come down strongly on either side of the debate, but said the policy board was “looking into different models for pathways back.”

“What that looks like and what the impact is for the players who have stayed and who haven’t and how we make our product better going forward, there is no answer to that right now,” he added.

“We’re looking at very different, varying degrees of ideas and heat that looks like in the short term, we don’t know and we don’t even know in the long term what that looks like.

“But trust me, there are daily, weekly emails and talks about this and what this looks like for our tour going forward.

NOW READ: What driver is Tiger Woods using this week?

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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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