With the self-imposed December 31 deadline looming for the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PGA Tour veteran Davis Love III has confirmed the leader in the clubhouse for the worst-kept secret in golf – the deal isn’t getting done any time soon.
“The only thing I do know is nothing is going to happen really fast,” Love said during an interview on Friday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where he was meeting on a golf course project.
Asked if he thought a deal beyond the framework agreement, which was announced on June 6, would be consummated by the end of the year, he said, “I don’t see any way.”
But Love isn’t discouraged. He said that the Tour has returned its focus to determining what is best for the players and he likes their options.
“It’s forced us to take a look at what has been going on for 53 years and think about what the next 50 years will look like,” he said. “How do we set up our company to be ready for the future?”
It’s also given him a fresh perspective on the players who jumped ship and accepted lucrative guaranteed money offers to join the upstart LIV Tour.
“I told some of them this in the very beginning. I’m not against you as a person, I’m against what’s happening and I think you’re making a bad business decision,” Love said. “Jay tried to explain it to these guys, you are signing with our competitor and giving our competitor leverage that is going to hurt our ability to make decisions and hurt our financial position. You don’t really understand that it is not just playing in this golf tournament versus that one.
“I’m still against the fact that this is a hostile takeover. These guys signed with a company that is trying to take us over. If a bunch of guys left Pepsi and went over to Coke and tried to take over Pepsi would you ever let them come back to Pepsi? I don’t think so. It may not be a perfect comparison but they sued us to make us change our rules so they could get what they wanted.”
But what should the future look like for the Tour? Love said that is the hot topic inside the halls of PGA Tour headquarters and with the policy board. As the longest-serving tenured member of the PGA Tour policy board and one of the Tour’s elder statesmen, Love has been called back into duty as a member of a small “ad hoc” governance committee to make sure that is top of mind.
“I’ve been drug back into the board conversations and I’m learning more and more. It’s…