Report: Former LIV chief who quit after Greg Norman gaffe targeted for new role

Sean Bratches, who resigned from LIV Golf during the early days, is being lined up for a sensational return to run PGA Tour Enterprises.

Ben Smith's picture
Fri, 12 Jan 2024
Report: Former LIV chief who quit after Greg Norman gaffe targeted for new role

Only the most ardent of golf fans might remember the name Sean Bratches.

Bratches was LIV Golf's first chief commercial officer but he abruptly resigned from his role during the early days of the breakaway tour. 

In fact, he walked out before LIV Golf held their inaugural event at Centurion Club just outside of London two years ago. 

He has never spoken publicly about his decision to quit, but it was suggested he walked out after Greg Norman sparked controversy when the Australian described the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi as 'a mistake'. 

Norman was facing questions about sportswashing for Saudi Arabia through his involvement with LIV Golf. 

Lawrence Burian now occupies the role of chief commercial officer at LIV after he replaced Atul Khosla. 

According to Sports Business Journal, Bratches is being eyed up for a high-profile role at PGA Tour Enterprises. 

PGA Tour Enterprises will be the new, for-profit company that combines the commercial assets of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV.

Whether it exists depends on whether the tours can ratify the 6 June framework agreement. 

The deadline for that agreement to be made passed on 31 December 2023 but there is hope a deal can be agreed before the Masters

Under the terms of the agreement, PGA Tour Enterprises would see PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan act as the chief executive officer, with the powerful Saudi businessman and chairman of the Public Investment Fund, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, as the chairman. 

SBJ also reports that the NFL's chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp is also being targeted. 

The publication states the PGA Tour and their would-be U.S. investors are keen on the 51-year-old, who has more than 20 years' experience in the business. 

The news comes as tensions between the PGA Tour and LIV appear to be cooling. 

Despite LIV poaching Jon Rahm last December, players from both sides have expressed their desires for an agreement to be made as soon as possible. 

Rory McIlroy, perhaps one of LIV Golf's harshest critics, has called for a world tour

"There is an untapped commercial opportunity out there," McIlroy said.  

"Investors always want to make a return on their money. Revenues at the PGA Tour right now are about $2.3 billion.

"So how do we get that number up to four or six? To me, it is by looking outward.

"They need to think internationally and spread their wings a bit. I've been banging that drum for a while."

Phil Mickelson responded to McIlroy's shift in tone by writing on X it was time for the hostilities to end.

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