The PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are all partnering, but details are yet to be revealed. There has been much speculation about what this new organization will look like, but the public knew nothing about the details.
However, in one interview sports illustratedJimmy Dunne, a member of the PGA Tour Policy Board, spoke about what the future holds for the partnership and the role of key executives. Here’s what we know:
Jay Monahan runs the show
There were many questions about who was in power in this new organization. Will it be the majority of Jay Monahan and the tour’s board of directors? Is it the PIF Governor Yasir Al Rumayyan and his infinite cash reserves? According to Dan, Monaghan will be the most powerful man. The SI article reports that Monahan will oversee LIV Golf as well as the Tour. This made Monaghan the most powerful man in the professional game, not only running the biggest tours on the planet, but also one of the biggest competitors.
The future of LIV is uncertain
The partnership was initially touted as a big win for LIV Golf, but Dunn’s interview calls that narrative into question. LIV will play the rest of the 2023 season, but the rest of the league will be evaluated by Monaghan. LIV may return for another season if he and his team like what they see, but Monaghan has the power to disband the upstart tour if he sees fit.
LIV players are not immediately welcome
If you thought this partnership would bring LIV players back to the Tour like they’d never left before, think again. Monahan and other tour leaders will set the conditions for defectors to return home, and the penalties are expected to be severe. LIV golfers may have found their way back to the Tour, but it will come at a price.
PIF does not own the tour
It’s easy to see that this merger would make it look like Saudi Arabia was effectively buying a tool, but that’s not the case. Under the terms of the agreement, the PIF will not donate money directly to the Tour or its players. Instead, they will have a “first refusal” to become an investment partner of the tour through the new company. If a tour wishes to invest in the future, PIF reserves the right to participate in that effort.
Greg Norman’s future uncertain
When asked about Greg Norman’s involvement in CNBC’s first announcement on Tuesday morning, Al Rumayyan wasn’t outright endorsing LIV’s current CEO.
“We called just before this, of course he is our partner,” Al Rumayyan said. “And all parties involved with us called just before this interview.”
Norman told LIV employees this week that he wasn’t going anywhere, but with Monaghan now at the helm of the league, it’s unclear if he will stay with the company.
No money promises (yet)
The deal is sure to bring a lot of cash into the game, but nothing has been decided yet. Dunn told SI that the PIF has not committed to any investment yet, and that Tour has not committed to future investments other than a “preferred veto”. It’s easy to imagine a world where PIF sponsors future touring events, but nothing is certain at this point.