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Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott named to PGA Tour, Saudi PIF negotiating team

May 09, 2024
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Keyur Khamar

The PGA Tour has appointed Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott as player representatives for potential negotiations with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as the two sides look to see if there’s an opportunity to work together inside the newly formed, for-profit PGA Tour Enterprises.

The news, first reported by Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press, comes amid drama with McIlroy’s failed bid to return to the tour’s policy board. Previously it was reported that Woods would be the lone player on this team, but after his first round at the Wells Fargo Championship, McIlroy told the assembled media he and Scott also would be involved in the discussions. The tour soon sent a press release confirming the news.

Woods, McIlroy and Scott will be on a “transaction subcommittee” for PGA Tour Enterprises. This team will hold discussions with PIF should the Saudi wealth fund ultimately join the Strategic Sports Group as equity investors. Woods was named as a sixth player director for the PGA Tour Policy Board last summer, his position the result of a petition from tour players seeking new governance and transparency measures with the tour following the surprise June 6 framework agreement with PIF. Unlike other player directors, Woods’ role does not have a term limit. Woods was additionally announced as vice chairman of the PGA Tour Enterprises board earlier this year.

Joining Woods, Scott and McIlroy on this transaction team are PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, John W. Henry of Fenway Sports Group (one of the primary investors in SSG), board chairman and Valero CEO Joe Gorder and former tour player Joe Ogilvie, who was appointed as a player director liaison after campaigning to advocate for players during the schism.

As part of the announcement, Gorder was named chairman of PGA Tour Enterprises.

Monahan also released a statement to media outlets after the PGA Tour Policy Board rejected Webb Simpson’s attempt to allow McIlroy to replace him on the board.

“Today’s news is in no way a commentary on Rory’s important perspective and influence,” Monahan said. “It’s simple a matter of adherence to our governance process by which a tour player becomes a board member.

“Webb remaining in his position as a member of the policy board and PGA Tour Enterprises board through the end of his term provides the continuity needed at this vital time. We are making progress in our negotiations with the PIF.”

The original framework agreement outlined that the tour and PIF have until the end of 2023 to come to a deal for the proposed for-profit entity, although both parties had the option to extend the deadline. However, talks have recently stalled out, leading to speculation that professional golf’s civil war may continue for some time.