Golf News

PGA Tour players nearing secret meeting with Saudi boss Al-Rumayyan

Yasir Al-Rumayyan to play DP World Tour event with fake name

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A group of PGA Tour players are nearing a meeting with the head of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as efforts continue to broker a deal between the Tour and the controversial sovereign wealth fund that has been disrupting men’s professional golf.

Six sources told Golfweek that the Tour’s player-directors are being strongly encouraged to meet Yasir Al-Rumayyan and that it could happen within days. Two sources said a meeting is tentatively scheduled for Monday at a private residence in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The Players Championship concludes on Sunday at nearby TPC Sawgrass. Details of the meeting are being closely guarded and several insiders caution that it’s still unclear if the powerful Saudi investment chief will commit to attending or cancel at the last minute.

Five of the six player-directors on the Tour’s Policy Board — all of whom now also serve on the board of the new for-profit entity, PGA Tour Enterprises — are in the field at the Players: Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Peter Malnati and Webb Simpson. Only Tiger Woods is not competing. Joe Ogilvie, a retired veteran who was added to both boards last week as a liaison to player-directors, plans to arrive in Ponte Vedra Beach Sunday in advance of an Enterprises board meeting scheduled for Tuesday at Tour headquarters.

A meeting between Al-Rumayyan and the players would be intended as an informal ice-breaker in a bid to advance negotiations between the Tour and the PIF, talks which have been largely stalled since the June 6 announcement of a Framework Agreement between the parties. A faction of player-directors remains angered about the secretive process leading to that agreement and are known to be skeptical of a deal with the Saudis, who have poured billions of dollars into LIV Golf.

On Tuesday, Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed that he met recently with Al-Rumayyan in Saudi Arabia and was accompanied by representatives of Strategic Sports Group. In January, SSG invested $1.5 billion into PGA Tour Enterprises, the vehicle through which the future of the sport will be shaped. “Our negotiations are accelerating as we spend time together,” Monahan said.

Under the terms of the Framework Agreement, the PIF could also become a minority investor in PGA Tour Enterprises, but last month one player-director was noticeably lukewarm when asked if a deal with the PIF was necessary after the SSG infusion.

“I just think it’s…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…