ORLANDO — Tiger Woods was clear the Dec. 31 deadline for completing the framework agreement between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which finances LIV Golf, is firm.
“As of right now, that is our time frame and our deadline,” he said. “That was set forth back in early June. And that hasn’t changed.”
Tiger had just come off the soggy Ritz-Carlton Golf Club course after he and son, Charlie, shot 8-under 64, seven shots behind leaders and Bear Lakes residents, Matt Kuchar and his son, Cameron. The 36-hole event concludes Sunday.
Tiger is playing his second event since undergoing ankle surgery in April. But while recovering he increased his golf obligations when he was added to the board becoming a sixth player director along with five independent directors and one director representing the PGA of America.
That board is working on finalizing the agreement that was announced in June. Some reports doubt the two sides will come to terms by the deadline.
“We’re trying to get a deal done with all of the different entities that we have going on here,” Tiger said. “(Strategic Sports Group) has come into the mix now. But we still have until the 31st.”
The PGA Tour is in talks with SSG, which would invest $3 billion into the Tour. By reaching agreements with both SSG and the PIF, the Tour could have a windfall believed to be at least $5 billion.
SSG is a consortium of U.S. professional team owners that includes John Henry, Arthur Blank and Wyc Grousbeck.
The Tour’s ability to strike a deal was heightened when Jon Rahm became the latest superstar to defect to LIV. Rahm, ranked No. 3 in the world, reportedly will earn more than $550 million between his contract and signing bonuses.
Tiger was asked Saturday for his reaction when Rahm made his announcement.
“Well, there’s been a lot of talk over the years of certain players going, and it was speculation until it happened because there’s been rumors of names going and not going, and whether they materialized or not …” he said. “So we assumed it was just speculation until it happened.”
Kuchar credits LIV for the positive changes being made on the PGA Tour. Those changes include eight signature events on the 2024 schedule, seven with $20 million purses and The Players awarding $25 million in prize money.
“I think what’s going on with the LIV Tour is pushing the PGA Tour to make…