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Tiger Woods has revealed that the PGA Tour board is exploring potential pathways for LIV golfers to return to the circuit. 

As it stands, players who defected to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf league are indefinitely banned from competing on the PGA Tour.

But the Tour’s position could change as a deal draws closer with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls the LIV enterprise, with the aim of unifying the elite male game.

Interestingly, some of the biggest names on the US circuit are split on how LIV players should be re-integrated into their old domain.

Rory McIlroy says “let them back” without punishment, while Scottie Scheffler, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas have all suggested a route back to the PGA Tour shouldn’t be so straightforward.

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And Woods, a new player director on the PGA Tour’s Policy Board, told reporters on Wednesday that daily talks are ongoing about the return of LIV players to his circuit.

“We’re looking into all the different models for pathways back,” Woods said ahead of his first start of 2024 at the Genesis Invitational.

“What that looks like, what the impact is for the players who have stayed and who have not left and how we make our product better going forward, there is no answer to that right now.

“We’re looking at a very different, varying degrees of ideas and what that looks like in the short term, we don’t know.

“We don’t even know in the longer term what that looks like. Trust me, there’s daily, weekly emails and talks about this and what this looks like for our tour going forward.”

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Uncertainty still reigns whilst the PGA Tour and LIV continue to operate separately, but Woods has stressed that he wants PIF to have a seat at the top table, after the Tour struck a landmark private equity deal of its own.

“Ultimately we would like to have PIF be a part of our tour and a part of our product,” Woods said, while hailing his circuit’s new $3billion investment deal from the conglomerate of American billionaires known as the Strategic Sports Group (SSG).

He added: “We want to have the history, involve the history and the traditions of the history of our tour and have the pathways, accessibility, have all of the intangibles that have made the PGA Tour what it is right now and what has been, and hopefully what it will continue to be even better.

“And how do we do that? That’s the whole idea of why we have a group like SSG to provide us with information and help and trying to create the best tour we could possibly have.”

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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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