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Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before.

A deal between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment is once again moving ever closer.

Precisely one year on from rocking the golf world with their framework agreement announcement, representatives from both sides will meet in New York on Friday to see what the next steps look like.

Each side has laid out their terms to one another, though this has become more complicated by the fact the PGA Tour has recently agreed to a $3 billion injection from Strategic Sports Group, a US-based group of investors that includes Fenway Sports Group which already owns the likes of Liverpool Football Club and the Boston Red Sox.

There has also been drama in the fact that two directors who played vital roles in the original bid to end golf’s so-called civil war – Jimmy Dunne and Mark Flaherty – have resigned.

In her DealBook column in the New York Times, Lauren Hirsch, who cited two sources “granted anonymity because they weren’t authorised to speak publicly about the matter”, wrote that members of the PGA Tour board, including Tiger Woods and FSG’s John Henry, will be involved in the meeting, while Rory McIlroy will join remotely as he “will be playing in a match”.

The fact McIlroy is involved at all will come as a shock to some given an apparent rift between the four-time major champion and Woods, while PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who funds Greg Norman’s rival LIV Golf tour, are not mentioned by name.

Woods had previously stated that while “ultimately we would like to have PIF be a part of our tour and a part of our product, financially we don’t [need that] right now”.

Will the meeting move us closer to what we want: a united sport? Or will we be another 12 months down the line and still wondering what might be of this increasingly mythicised framework agreement?

As Hirsch notes, the fact the meeting is face to face is significant. But that was the case in March when Woods and Monahan met Al-Rumayyan in the Bahamas.

Watch this space, as they say.

author headshot

Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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