Jordan Spieth says Saudi golf events are a THREAT, but can benefit the players

The former Masters champion discussed his thoughts ahead of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. 

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 5 Jan 2022
Jordan Spieth says Saudi golf events are a THREAT, but can benefit the players

Jordan Spieth has said he believes Saudi investment in golf is a "threat" to the PGA Tour but something that could be beneficial going forward

This story has been rumbling on since the mid noughties and now the Saudis' influence on golf appears to be coming to the fore. 

The PGA Tour was at loggerheads with its players over the Saudi International, which is scheduled to take place in February. 

Tour bosses clearly wanted players to support their brand but the financial muscle of the Saudis appears that to many the offer for vast riches is too good to turn down. 

The Saudi International has the private investment fund (the sovereign wealth of Saudi Arabia) as their title sponsor. Greg Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf Investments which has plunged millions into the Asian Tour. 

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Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood are just some of the names who will play in that tournament next month, with private chartered jets taking them to and from the venue. 

Dizzying pay days have been promised, with players said to be getting six-figure sums for just playing in the tournament. 

The PGA Tour buckled late last year, granting players exemptions to play in the tournament providing they support the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach going forward.

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Speaking ahead of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Spieth told the media: 

"I think certainly it's a threat to the PGA Tour. I think as a player overall it will benefit in that I think that the changes that have come from the PGA Tour have been modernized in a way that may or may not have come about if it weren't there.

"I think for us players on the PGA Tour, I think that so far it's been something that has kind of helped the PGA Tour sit and say, 'hey, where can we look to satisfy our membership and potentially make some changes going forward that, where there's some similarities potentially to a league like that, but while maintaining kind of the integrity that the PGA Tour has.

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