Jay Monahan: PGA Tour’s deal deadline with PIF ‘a firm target’

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the Dec. 31 deadline outlined in the framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund remains “a firm target” and that he plans to meet with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan next week.

Speaking at The New York Times DealBook Summit in New York City on Wednesday, Monahan acknowledged the tour is in discussions with multiple parties about potential investment in a new for-profit entity but that negotiations with PIF and the DP World Tour are ongoing.

“We’re having conversations with multiple parties,” Monahan said, per multiple reports. “The deadline for our conversations with PIF, as you know, is a firm target.

“I’ll be with Yasir next week, and we continue to advance our conversations. And I think it’s pretty well known that there’s a large number of other interested parties that we’re also pushing to think about.”

Monahan’s comments came amid speculation that the deadline for the agreement to be finalized may be extended. The tour has also been in discussions with other interested parties, most notably the Fenway Sports Group. Investment firm KKR & Co. is another group reported to have had discussions with the tour.

Monahan said that a potential agreement with PIF may include at least one additional co-investor.

“When this gets finalized, the PGA Tour is going to be in a position that I talked about earlier, where again, the athletes are owners in their sport, and you’ve got not only the PIF, but you’ve likely got another co-investor, with significant experience in business, in sport and brand that’s going to help take the PGA Tour to another level and help us take share from other sports and even be more competitive,” he said, per reports.

“What’s most important to our players is that they go from the model of being independent contractors to being owners.”

The framework agreement came as a surprise announcement on June 6, with Monahan and Al-Rumayyan appearing together on CBNC. The agreement was negotiated among a small group of people and rankled much of the PGA Tour’s membership.

Eight days later, Monahan would begin a month-long medical leave due to anxiety and mental health concerns. He returned to his post on July 17.

“I think what’s happening to me in my head around that timeframe was not too dissimilar to what was happening to me in my head in the months prior to it,” Monahan said Wednesday. “This had been an extended conflict. It had affected me, my mental and my physical health.”

Tiger Woods, who had no knowledge of the framework agreement at the time of the announcement, has since joined the tour’s Policy Board as a player director. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy left the board and was recently replaced by Jordan Spieth.

“(Monahan) understands what happened prior to that can’t happen again and won’t happen again, not with the players that are involved and not with the player directors having the role that we have,” Woods said on Tuesday.

“We’re not going to have what transpired in a few months without our involvement again.”