Tiger Woods "very engaged" in PGA-PIF deal according to former US Open champion

Tiger Woods took full control of Monday's meeting with LIV Golf chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, according to PGA Tour pro.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is said to have been "very engaged" as he hosted a meeting with Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan about potential future investment in PGA Tour Enterprises, according to fellow PGA Tour player director Webb Simpson

Woods, 48, was one of six player directors on the PGA Tour Policy Board involved in Monday's meeting in the Bahamas. 

The meeting was scheduled to help accelerate talks between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf's bankrollers, the Saudi PIF, as they bid to move one step closer to unifying the professional game. 

In addition to Woods and Simpson, player directors Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Peter Malnati were also in attendance in the meeting, along with newly-appointed board liaison Joe Ogilvie and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. 

John Henry, the principal owner of Liverpool FC and investor in Strategic Sports Group (SSG), was also in the meeting.

Woods even found time to play a round of golf with Al-Rumayyan at Albany. 

Tiger Woods

According to Sports Illustrated's Bob Harig, former US Open champion Simpson said 15-time major champion Woods was "very engaged” and that "outside of our meeting he’s been super engaged along the way." 

Simpson added of Woods: 

"Tiger is a great leader and I really think he’s taken the position of our leader and we rely on him a lot."

The PGA Tour and PIF's framework agreement was announced on 6 June 2023 with a deadline of 31 December 2023. 

It was something of a shock at the time given the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, bankrolled by the PIF, have been at loggerheads ever since the league's inception in July 2022. 

PIF and the PGA Tour failed to meet their end-of-2023 deadline and it has been extended until further notice. 

Tiger Woods

Simpson claimed the meeting with PIF "was the next right thing" for the PGA Tour to do following their recent $3 billion private equity deal with SSG. 

While Simpson was happy with how Monday's meeting played out with PIF governor Al-Rumayyan, he did make it clear a merger is still some way from completion. 

Simpson said: 

"It definitely seems like he [Al-Rumayyan] envisions a place in the game of golf. We didn’t get as far as what he wants and what does LIV want. He certainly seems engaged enough in the game already that he has desires to see the game grow globally, I think it’s fair to say. And he mentioned growing it in Saudi to try and do that.”

He added:

"I do think it’s a while until we get there. I didn’t walk away with a much clearer understanding of what the future holds. But I definitely walked away thinking I’m glad we did that. Glad we met him. Glad we had a very friendly meeting. It was never tense. It was a long day but a good day."

Fellow player director Malnati was delighted with how his first meeting with Al-Rumayyan played out. 

"Obviously he [Al-Rumayyan] is not a regular guy. He chairs 140-something boards. But to talk to him, it was like talking to another human being. I enjoyed and appreciated that. We were definitely talking to a golf nut.”

He added: 

"I still certainly think a path forward for professional golf makes more sense with him on our side than him as an antagonist. But there’s a lot of work to do to... seeing the same vision for the future of professional golf. There is space between his and ours."

Will the PGA Tour eventually strike a deal with PIF, or will it be off the cards? Will the pro game ever unify, and what will happen to LIV Golf if it does? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

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