Revealed: SSG will only invest $3 billion into PGA Tour if deal struck with PIF

One year from the PGA Tour's framework agreement with PIF, a report in the Washington Post discloses more details about SSG's investment deal.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Strategic Sports Group (SSG) will only invest their full $3 billion into the PGA Tour providing a deal is struck with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), according to The Washington Post

The PGA Tour agreed a huge $3 billion deal with SSG, a group of US-based investors led by Liverpool FC and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, earlier this season in January. 

In partnership with SSG, the circuit confirmed the launch of PGA Tour Enterprises, a new commercial venture under the PGA Tour's control.

The merger, in a first-of-its-kind program, now sees nearly 200 PGA Tour members get the chance to become equity holders in the new company. 

There is said to be $1.5 billion on the table for PGA Tour members, with the biggest superstars such as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods most lucratively rewarded. 

Initially, it had not come to light whether the PIF would be involved in the SSG's full investment of PGA Tour Enterprises. 

But exactly one year on since the pending PGA Tour-PIF framework agreement was announced to the world in a bid to help unify the professional game following the emergence of the Saudi-bankrolled LIV Golf League, a report in The Washington Post has confirmed this to be the case. 

PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan
PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan

To the shock of the golf world on 6 June 2023, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF 'signed an agreement that combines PIF's golf-related commercial businesses and rights (including LIV Golf) with the commercial businesses and rights of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour into a new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that delivers maximum excitement and competition among the game's best players'. 

So far, according to reports, only half of the full $3 billion investment ($1.5 billion) has been pumped into PGA Tour Enterprises. 

For the PGA Tour to receive the remainder of SSG's investment, it will need to strike its deal with LIV Golf's bankrollers, PIF. 

The latest Washington Post article states: 

"Tour officials have said that even if LIV Golf lags far behind in spectator interest, it will continue to pose an existential threat because it can pick off tour players and leave the PGA Tour with a watered-down product.

"Notably, a PIF investment would be worth significantly more than whatever the Saudis put in. The SSG investors are expected to raise their commitment as high as $3 billion if the PIF ultimately signs on."

Therefore if the PGA Tour does not sign off its framework agreement with PIF then it would lose out on the extra $1.5 billion investment.

It is understood the PIF would be willing to match the SSG's investment into the PGA Tour ($3 billion), meaning there is a potential $4.5 billion on the table should the framework agreement be approved between both parties. 

LIV Golf has confirmed it will not be going anywhere, no matter what happens with the PGA Tour and PIF, but it will certainly be fascinating to see how it all plays out.

McIlroy is hopeful a deal can finally be struck to bring the professional game 'back together'.

US PGA champion Xander Schauffele painted a fairly bleak picture though, explaining it could be at least 'five or six years' until the world's best are competing regularly alongside one another again. 

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