×

Top Links:

Get A Golf Handicap

UK Golf Guide

Golfshake Top 100s

Find Golf Travel Deals

Golf Competitions

Search

Community Forum

Course:

Tee Times | Search | Reviews

News:

Gear | Tour | Industry Insider

Tuition:

Video Library | Tuition Sections

Community:

Join | Log In | Help | Useful Links

×

How Close is Golf to Finally Achieving a Peace Deal

By: | Mon 17 Jun 2024


View From The Fairway by Derek Clements


It is now more than 12 months since PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan stunned the world of golf by announcing that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour were planning to finalise a framework deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (backers of LIV Golf) that would bring peace and love to professional golf.

Monahan told us that the hope was to announce a firm proposal by the end of December 2023. That deadline came and went.

In the meantime, Rory McIlroy, who said he felt like he had been hung out to dry by Monahan, quit his position on the PGA Tour players’ board. Tiger Woods, who has a lot of time on his hands these days, is now playing a prominent role on the board. A few weeks ago it became clear that McIlroy’s stance on LIV had softened. He had been one of the breakaway tour’s most vocal critics but that all seemed to change when Jon Rahm defected.

Having made it clear that there was no place in the Ryder Cup team for the likes of Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, the Northern Irishman said it was unthinkable to take on the Americans in their own back yard in 2025 without Rahm in the team. On current form it has to be said that Rahm would not make the side anyway.

McIlroy then said he was prepared to take Webb Simpson’s place on the payer board but this move was vetoed. It has been widely reported that Woods was a key figure in blocking McIlroy’s return.

With the season’s third major now behind us, there has been much talk about the desire within the game to have the leading players competing against one another on a regular basis once again. A financial framework has been worked out that will see players who remained loyal to the PGA Tour being rewarded for staying put - this is something that I believe will only further alienate true golf fans who already believe these men earn far too much money as it is.

Ahead of the US Open, 24 players had already banked more than $3m in prize money. And Scottie Scheffler had earned in excess of $20m. In the second week in June!

Monahan revealed that there had been further recent talks with the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the moneymen behind LIV Golf, in New York, and insisted that things are "accelerating2, whatever that means. But yet again, he was short on detail.

A statement from Monahan said: "As previously stated, our negotiations with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) have accelerated in recent months. Representatives from the PGA Tour Enterprises Transaction Subcommittee and the PIF have been meeting multiple times weekly to work through potential deal terms and come to a shared vision on the future of professional golf.  

"An in-person session in New York City included the entire Transaction Subcommittee and PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan and his team, where more progress was made. We remain committed to these negotiations, which require working through complex considerations to best position golf for global growth.

"We want to get this right, and we are approaching discussions with careful consideration for our players, our fans, our partners and the game's future." 

One man who played a key role in the meeting was Woods, who is currently acting as one of the circuit's player directors.

McIlroy claimed he could see the two rival tours forming some sort of collaboration on the back of the peace talks. 

Rory McIlroy

He said: "I certainly don’t see in the next couple of years LIV slowing down. They’re buying office space in New York. They have over 200 employees. 

"I don’t see a world where - and I haven’t heard any of those guys say that they don’t want to play over there either, right? You’ve got guys who are on contracts until 2028, 2029. Looking a few years down the line, LIV is going to continue to sort of keep going down its path. But hopefully with maybe more of a collaboration or an understanding between the tours. 

"Maybe there is some cross-pollenation there where players can start to play on both. I guess that will all be talked about in the coming weeks The only thing is there are so many tours and so many golf tournaments. There are only a certain amount of weeks in the year. That’s the complicated part. Trying to figure out which tournaments go where, when do we play them, how many players, what players."

Cross-pollenation? For goodness sake. And you can call me an old cynic if you like but when he talks about "trying to figure out which tournaments go where, when do we play them, how many players, what players" what he is actually talking about is how they spread the money around. Enough is enough.

The chatter continued at Pinehurst, but once again, nobody actually said anything that should give the rest of us any genuine hope that an end might be in sight to this whole sorry saga.

This is what Woods said: "Is there light at the end of tunnel? I think we’re closer to that point than we were pre-meeting. We discussed a lot of different endings and how we get there. I think that both sides walked away from the meeting - we all felt very positive in that meeting. 

"As I said, both sides were looking at different ways to get to the end game. I think that both sides shared a deep passion for how we need to get there. And yes, there are going to be differences of opinion, but we all want the same thing."

In other words, there is still very little common ground.

Mike Whan, head of the USGA, is clearly as frustrated as the rest of us. He said: "If I’m being perfectly honest with you, we’ve always felt like for the last maybe year and a half that we’re always three months away from kind of understanding what the new structure is going to look like. 

"What is LIV going to be? What’s the PGA Tour? So we always kind of felt like we’re just about to know that answer. Now I think the reason we’re being more vocal about looking at that for next year is maybe this is the new world order, and if that’s the case, we wanted to take a look at that … We know that there’s an option to get there."

And while all of this is going on, Bryson DeChambeau, one of LIV's leading lights, has been pleading with golf fans to give LIV Golf a chance. DeChambeau has been one of those who has said he wants to compete with PGA Tour players again, so you might believe that he would want to keep his counsel while these talks are continuing.

Not a bit of it. He said: "I think the first thing that I would say is try to keep an open mind just for one day. Come out here one day with an open mind, I think you'll be a fan for life."

You can take it then that the new US Open champion is fully expecting that LIV Golf will continue to co-exist alongside the PGA Tour. And if that does happen, then what will have changed?


Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.


What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/


Tags: PGA Tour LIV Golf dp world tour



Scroll to top