Tiger Woods, PGA Tour board issue memo as LIV rumors swirl

The PGA Tour Policy Board sent out a two-page memo to the Tour’s members late Friday night encouraging unity and a willingness to negotiate with potential investors amid a flurry of rumors that suggest that LIV Golf is looking to add to its player pool.

Following the second round of the Hero World Challenge in Albany, Bahamas, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Charley Hoffman, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson and Peter Malnati — the board’s player directors — distributed the memo, addressing “speculation in our game” while providing updates on talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Adam Scott also signed off on the letter. Scott is set to replace Hoffman at the beginning of 2024.

“With the 2024 season just around the corner and with so much speculation in our game, we wanted to speak to you directly,” the memo said. “Since Tiger joined the policy board on Aug. 1, the player directors have been doing everything we can to ensure the PGA Tour is best positioned to thrive for decades to come.

“We have learned a lot, and we are encouraged by progress on multiple fronts.”

As outlined in a framework agreement, Saudi Arabia’s PIF is supposed to complete an investment agreement with the PGA Tour by the end of 2023. The Saudi PIF finances LIV Golf, which has gotten stars like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson to jump ship and make the move from the PGA Tour.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has a meeting scheduled next week with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s PIF.

“I’ll be with Yasir next week, and we continue to advance our conversations,” Monahan said. “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.”

Those other interested parties included Fenway Sports Group and KKR and Co., an investment firm. Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that those two groups won’t be investing.

Friday’s memo also stressed the importance of group decision-making that requires the “involvement and approval of the player directors.”

“We have agreed that we will work to reach a unanimous consensus before voting on any proposal that either creates a for-profit entity or contemplates third-party investment,” the memo read.

In the memo’s closing remarks, the player directors stated that they are “determined to get this right” and are open to feedback and questions from those on Tour.