"I'm hearing the opposite": LIV Golf pro casts doubt over PGA Tour / PIF merger

LIV Golf pro Anirban Lahiri not confident PGA Tour will merge with Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF). 

"I'm hearing the opposite": LIV Golf pro casts doubt over PGA Tour / PIF merger
"I'm hearing the opposite": LIV Golf pro casts doubt over PGA Tour / PIF…

LIV Golf pro Anirban Lahiri believes from what he has heard on the grapevine that the PGA Tour's shock merger with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is by far from a done deal. 

Lahiri, 36, who joined the Saudi-bankrolled LIV Golf League five months after finishing second at the 2022 Players Championship, has cast doubt over the PGA Tour-PIF merger in light of the deadline reportedly being further extended until the end of March. 

PGA Tour Enterprises was initially formed last June when the North American circuit entered into a framework agreement with PIF and the DP World Tour. 

Per the terms of that agreement, the commercial interests of all the tours would fall under the umbrella of PGA Tour Enterprises. 

LIV's mastermind, the powerful Saudi businessman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, was expected to be the chairman of PGA Tour Enterprises with the aforementioned Monahan answering directly to him. 

But Al-Rumayyan was not referred to in the announcement. 

We are led to believe talks between the PGA Tour and PIF are ongoing but whether they can be brought on as investors could prove troublesome given government scrutiny. 

The PGA Tour Enterprises recently received a $1.5bn cash injection from a consortium of American sports team owners led by Fenway Sports Group. 

Related: Golf world reacts to unsurprising Tiger Woods news

In addition to Tiger Woods, active PGA Tour players Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth have been named on the board of directors at PGA Tour Enterprises..

Woods recently praised the work of SSG in their support of the PGA Tour, further raising question marks over PIF's involvement. 

Speaking to Times of India ahead of LIV Golf Hong Kong, Lahiri expressed uncertainty over the looming PGA Tour-PIF deal. 

Lahiri, who plays for Bryson DeChambeau's reigning team champions, Crushers GC, said: 

"From what I've heard, it's not a done deal. In fact, I am hearing the opposite. 
"It will be a matter of time as in how all the different organisations move forward.
"This back and forth just highlights what professional golf has gone through in the last two years.
"This whole period there has been a lot of turmoil."

Fuelled with its cash injection from SSG, the PGA Tour heads into this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at famed Bay Hill with a record $20m prize fund.

The iconic tournament in honour of The King is one of eight Signature Events on the PGA Tour schedule in 2024. 

The winner will walk away with a cheque for $4m, which is the same amount the winner receives in LIV Golf League events in 2024. 

What do you make of Lahiri's comments about the looming PGA Tour-PIF deadline? Will it ever happen, especially with the PGA Tour now having received a cash injection from SSG? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

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