The PGA Tour VP who really controls LIV Golf is involved in the middle of a Saudi deal

Following the agreement between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), the future structure of professional golf is uncertain. However, PGA Tour officials insist that the tour will have complete control over the game in the coming years.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Executive Vice President Tyler Dennis and Chief Operating Officer Ron Price revealed that the PGA Tour is the leader of professional golf in the future.

The PGA Tour will control operations, not the PIF, which has poured billions into LIV Golf.

“We’re not going to go forward (with the agreement) without (taking control of the tour),” Dennis told Sports Illustrated. “(The Public Investment Fund) understands that. When our players start to understand that, they start to feel better about the deal.”

“And it’s very clear that the PGA Tour will be responsible.”

Interestingly, Dennis and Price’s comments come on the same day that Phil Mickelson expressed his full confidence in LIV Golf and the professional game.

“Going forward, we’re all very optimistic about the direction professional golf is headed,” Mickelson said Wednesday. “I think actions are a little bit more powerful than words. If you look at what LIV does and what we do, it’s more than just a statement.”

Phil Mickelson, Live Golf, US Open

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Phil Mickelson waits to tee off in the fourth round during the second round of the 123rd US Open at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 16, 2023.
Photo by Sean M. Hafey/Getty Images

But where does LIV Golf fit into a structure with total control on the PGA Tour?

The Framework Agreement deals with team play in professional golf. The newly created entity between the PGA Tour and PIF, dubbed “NewCo,” will “do a bona fide assessment” of LIV Golf and its prospects, and Jay Monahan, the current PGA Tour commissioner, will have the final say.

However, the tour is focused on working together and filling gaps that have been burning through over the past two years.

“I think you have to go back to what was announced and the spirit of the framework,” Dennis told Sports Illustrated. “And that simply working together and working in a unified way is going to be better for the sport, better for the professional game, better for the PGA Tour.”

If the tour has complete control over professional golf, keeping LIV Golf past 2024 doesn’t make much sense.

The golf team will be implemented in professional golf by the new TGL Golf League of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. This virtual golf season will take place for 15 weeks, from January to April.

Serena Williams and Fenway Sports Group have already announced they will invest in two of the six major leagues in 2024.

Additionally, for those players who defect to the LIV, a framework agreement gives the PGA Tour the ability to reinstate a player’s membership. However, nothing is decided on it, like everything else, except that all disputes between the two are a thing of the past.

For now, the writing on the wall is clear: The PIF has agreed that the PGA Tour will have control of operations, and the Tour would not do business with the Saudis under any other circumstances.

Jack Melko is the golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out _PlayingThrough as well.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: