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We now know a little more about the unlikely truce that has sent shockwaves through men’s professional golf.
Earlier this month, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) announced their intention to merge commercial operations, bringing an end to the division caused by the emergence of the PIF-funded LIV Golf League.
Since that bombshell dropped on June 6, there has been little in the way of actual detail about what this ‘NewCo’ will actually look like.
The Athletic has obtained a copy of the ‘framework agreement’ between the parties.
The six-page document, signed on May 30, outlines what the landscape of men’s pro golf might look like moving forward.
It’s a predictably dry document, so we’ve summarised the main takeaways below:
– What happens next for LIV? That will be determined by the new entity’s board. It, in turn, will be controlled by a Tour majority, in effect giving the PGA Tour discretion to control the future of the contentious enterprise.
– The PIF will become a “premier corporate sponsor” of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and other international tours. It will also be the title sponsor for at least one tournament.
– The PIF will also get right of first refusal on sponsorship opportunities.
– One place on the PGA Tour’s Policy Board will be created for a PIF representative (expected, initially, to be the Fund’s governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan).
– As previously disclosed, Al Rumayyan will act as the NewCo’s chair. PGA Tour chief executive Jay Monahan – who recently took a leave of absence due to ill health – will be its CEO.
The framework agreement between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and PIF. pic.twitter.com/utQK0JefYV
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) June 27, 2023
– A “Communications Committee” will “help facilitate a smooth business transition” and “coordinate and manage communications” between the PIF, LIV and the PGA Tour.
– Will players who jumped ship for LIV be allowed to return to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour? In short, yes. The document states that LIV and the PGA Tour will work in good faith to determine “a fair and objective process” for those wishing to do so.
– In the event that LIV continues, the NewCo will “cooperate in good faith” and use their “best efforts” to secure Official World Golf Ranking status for LIV events and its players.
As you might expect, there are many things this agreement doesn’t define. For example, what is the scale of the PIF’s investment into the NewCo? How does will the DP World Tour and its chief executive Keith Pelley be impacted? Likewise, where does LIV CEO Greg Norman fit into all this
That, presumably, will be disclosed in due course.
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