PGA Tour investor on LIV posing threat to PGA Tour: Tiger Woods reacts to PIF deal

Fans are hopeful that Blank's involvement will contribute to the PGA Tour's success

by Sead Dedovic
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PGA Tour investor on LIV posing threat to PGA Tour: Tiger Woods reacts to PIF deal
© Ethan Miller / Getty Images Entertainment

Arthur Blank, an investor in the PGA Tour and owner of the Atlanta Falcons is currently gaining attention in the golf community. He is part of the Strategic Sports Group consortium, which recently made a substantial, though unconfirmed, $3 billion deal with the PGA Tour. 

Fans are hopeful that Blank's involvement will contribute to the PGA Tour's success, especially as they face competition from LIV Golf, funded by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. 

There are ongoing negotiations between PGA Tour and PIF leaders regarding a potential merger with LIV Golf. Some believe that at this moment the PGA Tour does not need a merger with the PIF, given that SSG has decided to invest a huge amount of money. Speaking to Front Office Sports, Arthur Blank believes that PGA Tour fans have no reason to worry.


"Of the top 100 players in the world, I think there’s seven on [LIV]. So keep it all in perspective," -he said in an interview with Front Office Sports.

Arthur Blank is happy about this agreement between SSG and the PGA Tour. This will be a big deal for both sides, especially for the PGA Tour. Frustrations that have existed for a long time among PGA Tour golfers could change after such an investment. It will be interesting to see if, after all, the PGA Tour can compete financially with LIV Golf. This would also mean that a large number of PGA Tour golfers would remain on the Tour where it all began. Blank had the opportunity to talk with the golfers and emphasize how important this deal will be for them.

"This new interest that the PGA Tour has [in switching from a nonprofit to a for-profit model] is very positive for the game. 

When I met with the players, I’ve said: You know you can get all the money you want because the product is great and the upside is significant. "- he continued.

Blank finds it challenging to make a deal with anyone. PGA Tour leaders had to be careful and understand the goals of SSG. Their conversation lasted a long time, and in the end, PGA Tour leaders realized that a partnership with SSG could be a great thing for them.

"What you really should be in terms of picking who you want as a partner [is] super sensitive to what can they bring to the table that can really help the Tour grow as a platform—business experience, life experience, sports perspective.”

Tiger Woods on whether the PIF deal is even important for the PGA Tour

Tiger Woods is one of the golfers who will have the opportunity to perform at The Genesis Invitational. Fans are hoping for his great performance, considering that we haven't had the chance to watch this great golfer for a long time. The reporters were interested in what Woods thinks about the agreement between the PGA Tour and SSG, and whether the agreement with the PIF is important to the PGA Tour at this point.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods© Cliff Hawkins / Getty Images Sport
 

Despite receiving significant financial support from SSG, discussions with PIF suggest that a finalized deal might not happen before the Masters, contrary to initial expectations. Everything should have been completed already on December 31. That was the original deadline. However, there were some obstacles due to which the leaders of the PGA Tour, as well as the leaders of the PIF, could not agree. Negotiations are still ongoing. It will be interesting to see if they will really achieve the final deal and create an interesting situation on the golf scene.

Tiger Woods, a key figure in the PGA Tour's negotiations, shared ahead of the Genesis Invitation that while the PGA Tour is interested in working with PIF, they currently do not need its financial backing. He expressed the desire to have PIF involved in the tour and its product. Woods clarified that the current financial terms don't match, and the previously agreed-upon numbers remain the same.

SSG is anticipated to provide a substantial financial boost to the PGA Tour. In such an environment, the PGA Tour does not really need money from the PIF. This is certainly great news for PGA Tour players and at the same time a cause for concern for LIV Golfers and their leaders.

Woods explained that any future collaboration with PIF would involve additional financial contributions, aiming to improve the PGA Tour's offerings in both the short and long term. 

This year could be one of the most exciting in the golf world. Although we thought that things could not be more strange or exciting than last year and the year before last, this year can convince us otherwise.

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