Report: Marquee LIV Golf signing will quit league if Saudis 'get stingy'

A high-profile LIV Golf player will reportedly walk out of the league at the end of 2024 should he not receive the same terms of his initial contract. 

Report: Marquee LIV Golf signing will quit league if Saudis 'get stingy'

A marquee LIV Golf player will walk away from the breakaway tour at the end of 2024 if the Saudis 'get stingy' and don't offer the same terms as his first deal, according to a report.  

Fire Pit Collective journalist Alan Shipnuck made the claim in the most recent edition of his Q&A series AskAlan.

The topic was whether the PGA Tour are actually willing to play ball and partner with LIV's financiers, the PIF of Saudi Arabia. 

Or whether the established North American circuit is attempting to 'run out the clock'. 

In other words, are they hopeful the superstar golfers who signed five-year contracts with LIV in 2022 will come crawling back to the Tour? 

Such a prospect does seem unlikely given LIV's biggest signing to date, Jon Rahm, signed a five-year contract with the breakaway in December 2023. 

Surely PIF officials would be willing to triple down on their investment to get a seat at the table of men's professional golf. 

Afterall, Rahm's signing came at the very same time the PGA Tour started courting interest from private equity investors. 

The accepted rationale behind Rahm's transfer was the Saudis reminding their rivals: we aren't going anywhere

And it wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest that LIV's chairman, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, is a man who likes being told 'no'. 

Shipnuck reported:

"The slow-playing can't last forever—we will know in the next couple of months whether the framework agreement winds up in the recycling bin or if the PIF will invest a few billion dollars into PGA Tour Enterprises to buy its way into the golf establishment.
"The time horizon that matters is four years, which is the length of the contracts of LIV's biggest names. We're now in year three.
"The future of LIV will come down to the negotiations and machinations between Yasir Al-Rumayyan and the tour's best players, beginning this coming off-season.
"LIV has done a remarkable job keeping it in-house but there is plenty of disenchantment among the players at the heavy-handed and often chaotic way the PIF runs the tour, with much of the decision-making filtered through the white-shoe law firm of Gibson Dunn; professional sports is very different from the oil business and courtroom litigation.
"But money can buy happiness, or at least acquiescence.
"Someone close to one of LIV's marquee attractions recently said this to me about the impending contract negotiations: 'Will he stay? If they offer him the same money as last time around, absof---inglutely. But if Yasir gets stingy, he's gone."

You can read the full Q&A here

Who was Shipnuck referring to? 

Well, LIV's biggest signings include Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Rahm. 

All are said to have been paid in excess of $100m to join LIV. 

Related: LIV Golf fees to players: How much do LIV Golfers get paid?

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The report comes at the same time long-time LIV sceptic Tiger Woods delivered his verdict on potential Saudi investment into the PGA Tour. 

Woods stated negotiations with the PIF is ongoing but ultimately conceded he did not know what their intentions are within the men's game. 

Like Jordan Spieth before him, Woods, 48, said PIF investment is by no means necessary given the $3bn deal with SSG. 

His comments were in stark contrast to Rory McIlroy, who has urged the hostilities between the circuits to end. 

The Ulsterman wants those in charge to facilitate a world tour. 

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