The December 31, 2023, deadline for a shock PGA Tour / Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) merger to become finalised is "likely to be pushed back due to a range of issues", according to Bloomberg.
These range of issues, per the report, include regulatory concerns in the United States as well as a demand by Tour players such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy for a stake in the newly-formed entity.
While PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan recently claimed talks are progressing nicely, it would seem like a deal is still far from complete as the Tour and PIF respond to a US Justice Department probe over antitrust concerns while working with Tour players on how much control they will have when a new alliance is formed.
The PGA Tour and DP World Tour announced plans for its shock merger with PIF, which currently bankrolls the LIV Golf League, in June 2023.
According to the Bloomberg report, "PGA Tour golfers are deeply involved in negotiations and are looking to gain control in the new entity formed by the proposed tie-up."
With the December 31 deadline for a formal agreement now likely being pushed back into next year, it means both the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will have to continue with their separate Tour schedules until an agreement is signed and sealed.
The Bloomberg report writes:
"Having PGA Tour players at the helm will be crucial as the deal can’t be finalized until the golf circuits land on terms that would provide middle ground to appease the Tour’s golfers burned by the merger and forge a path to bring LIV golfers back to the Tour.
"PGA Tour players, who are being advised by investment bank Raine Group, are driving negotiations, the people said. That’s in stark contrast to the tentative pact that came together after secret talks between a small group of high-ranking PGA Tour officials and PIF’s chief, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, without player participation.
"The discussions are not over compensation, the people said. Granting equity isn’t being considered to necessarily reward players, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, who spurned lucrative offers to switch allegiances to LIV, but to ensure the PGA Tour player members at large have a share in the new entity, they said."
Will a shock merger between the Tour and Saudi PIF still go ahead as planned? What are your thoughts on the current golf pro landscape right now? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.