U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)



News & Tours

Uncovered emails reveal details of how PGA Tour-PIF deal came together

1523566303

Bloomberg

As part of PGA Tour COO Ron Price and Policy Board member Jimmy Dunne testifying before a U.S. Senate subcommittee amid news of the tour's partnership with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, both parties were asked to submit a series of internal documents relating to the deal. The documents, which can be read in full here, include internal emails, text messages and other communications between both parties that show some intricacies of how a high stakes deal like this came together.

Testing the waters

The emails show it was late last year that served as the turning point in golf's Civil War. Sensing that the Saudi-funded LIV league had momentum on its side, brought about by the Public Investment Fund’s billions of dollars in resources, Dunne made first contact, though early attempts were hampered by tech issue—and a missed call while out on the golf course.

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.31.00 AM.png
/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.39.03 AM.png

Hashing out a deal

Sensing there was an agreement to be had, the two sides began discussing the outlines of what would become the framework agreement. Ideas such as incorporating LIV’s team golf schedule into the fall series, having Rory McIlory- or Tiger Woods-owned teams, Dunne overseeing what would become of LIV, and a handshake agreement that Greg Norman would be ousted upon completion of the deal were all floated.

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.36.21 AM.png
/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.43.00 AM.png
/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.41.16 AM.png
/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 12.28.54 PM.png

A rushed announcement

After the framework agreement was reached, the next immediate step was announcing the deal. Fearing that they would be scooped on the news, central figures at the PGA Tour sought to seize “control of the narrative” by pushing forward with an announcement.

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.48.19 AM.png
/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.41.30 AM.png
/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.40.51 AM.png
/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/Screen Shot 2023-07-11 at 11.44.10 AM.png