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Negotiations between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) have been extended beyond the original deadline of 31 December.
A framework agreement between the organisations, which stunned the world of men’s professional golf, was announced on 6 June and was initially intended to be concluded before the end of 2023.
Discussions have been complicated by the emergence of interest from private equity groups, with the PGA Tour announcing on 10 December that it was in discussions with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), an investment group headlined by Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group.
In a memo to players sent on 31 December, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said “meaningful progress” had been made with SSG and “productive conversations” continued with the DP World Tour and the PIF, which bankrolls the breakaway LIV Golf circuit.
“I wanted to provide an update on our negotiations with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and DP World Tour,” Monahan wrote. “As you know, the [PGA Tour policy] Board unanimously directed management to pursue exclusive negotiations with SSG.
“I am pleased to report that we have made meaningful progress and have provided SSG with the due diligence information they requested.”
He continued: “As we move forward in our discussions, we are focused on the finalisation of terms and drafts of necessary documents. We also continue our active and productive conversations with PIF and the DP World Tour.
“While we had initially set a deadline of December 31, 2023, to reach an agreement, we are working to extend our negotiations into next year based on the progress we have made to date.
“Our goal for 2024 is to reach agreements with SSG, PIF and the DP World Tour, bringing them on board as minority co-investors in PGA Tour Enterprises. These partnerships will allow us to unify, innovate and invest in the game for the benefit of players, fans and sponsors.”
LIV Golf secured a major coup with the signing of Masters champion Jon Rahm on a multi-million-pound deal earlier this month, despite the world number three having previously insisted he was not interested in jumping ship.