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The peace broker behind the seismic deal between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has made an astonishing claim whilst defending the morality of the merger.

Jimmy Dunne, an independent director on the PGA Tour Board, set the wheels in motion for the ceasefire in golf, convincing commissioner Jay Monahan to put his name to the controversial deal that will see the Saudi state effectively control the sport at the highest level.

Sports Illustrated reports how Dunne first reached out to PIF governor and LIV Golf chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who will now head a new commercial entity to “unite golf”.

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Dunne has now been credited as the key architect behind the extraordinary truce in the game between all warring factions, including the DP World Tour.

“The reality is that we need to come together as people,” he told the Golf Channel on Thursday. “We have too much divisiveness.”

“At some point in time – whether it’s our view of the Japanese or our view of the Germans – there is a point in time where you have to say, let’s try to get to know one another. Let’s try to understand, let’s try to demonstrate by example.”

But PGA Tour leaders are facing huge backlash for striking a deal with the Saudis. Victim support group 9/11 Families United have accused Monahan and co. of “hypocrisy and greed” amid Saudi connections with the devastating attacks.

Over 3,000 people were killed during the atrocities in New York in 2001 and an FBI declassified document states that 15 of the 19 plane hijackers were Saudi nationals.

Dunne’s investment banking company was based in the South Tower of the World Trade Centre and 66 of his employees were killed on 9/11. He was not in the building as he was competing in a US Mid-Amateur golf tournament.

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“Every day, the first thing that I think about is [9/11]… several times during the day, I think about it; and the last thing I think about at night is that,” Dunne said.

“That has not changed since that day. And I’m not alone in that. I would guarantee that every one of those family members has that same condition. It is just a reality of how unbelievably sad and awful that day was.

“I would guarantee that every one of those family members has that same condition. It is just a reality of how unbelievably sad and awful that day was.”

He added: “I’m quite certain – and I’ve had conversations with a lot of very knowledgeable people – that the people I’m dealing with had nothing to do with 9/11. If someone can find someone who unequivocally was involved with it, I’ll kill them myself. We don’t have to wait around.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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