Law firm representing 20 PGA Tour players seeks information on tour's investment proposals
A law firm representing 20 current and former PGA Tour players has sent a letter to the tour’s policy board regarding ongoing negotiations between the board and private equity investors.
The letter, dated Dec. 10 and posted on social media by No Laying Up’s Tron Carter on Dec. 11, seeks to obtain information on the proposals that “will alter the structure of the PGA Tour and may have a profound impact on our clients’ lives.”
“The board has recently received multiple bids by prospective capital partners that will potentially transform how the PGA Tour operates, who controls it, and who owns it,” writes Jacob Buchdahl of Susman Godfrey L.L.P. “All but a handful of PGA Tour players have been kept entirely in the dark about the prospective transaction, how it will impact them, and what conflicts of interest may impact the decision makers.
“We demand full disclosure of the details and analyses of any proposals by prospective capital partners, which should be shared promptly with all tour players.”
In an email to Golf Digest regarding the letter, Buchdal replied, “The PGA players we represent want transparency from the PGA Tour policy board before it makes any decisions impacting the permanent structure, economics, or competitive rules of the PGA Tour. Only with additional information can the PGA players ensure that the right decisions are made for the right reasons and that no players are left behind. Our clients know their sentiments and goals are shared widely by most PGA players.”
Initially the list of players on the letter was 21, featuring Ryan Brehm, Wesley Bryan, MJ Daffue, Dylan Frittelli, Tommy Gainey, Brent Grant, Lanto Griffin, James Hahn, Scott Harrington, Andrew Landry, Nate Lashley, Brandon Matthews, William McGirt, Grayson Murray, Scott Piercy, Chez Reavie, Chris Stroud, Callum Tarren, D.J. Trahan, Richy Werenski and Danny Willett. However, following the letter’s publication, Bryan took to Twitter to defend why he wanted answers from the board, only to delete the comment while posting he was removing himself from the list.
Griffin, Hahn and Lashley have previously been outspoken about tour leadership over the past two years of professional golf’s civil war, with Stroud voicing similar complaints last week prior to playing in LIV Golf’s promotions event. Out of the 20 on the list, only Reavie (No. 111) and Murray (No. 134) are inside the Official World Golf Ranking’s top 150.
The letter came on the same day the tour announced it was in advanced negotiations with Strategic Sports Group for private equity investment with the tour. Tour leadership is also meeting with officials from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to continue discussions from this past summer’s framework agreement.