PGA Tour, PIF and DP World Tour now are far

In truth, there have been few concrete developments in terms of the unified vision outlined in the agreement

by Andrea Gussoni
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PGA Tour, PIF and DP World Tour now are far
© Christian Petersen/Getty Images Sport

As the first anniversary of the "historic" framework agreement between the PGA Tour, PIF, and DP World Tour approaches, unfortunately, there seems to be little cause for celebration. In truth, there have been few concrete developments in terms of the unified vision outlined in the agreement.

Over the past year, the parties involved have issued numerous statements regarding ongoing negotiations and necessary delays to evaluate the various facets of the agreement. In practice, both the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the operational arm of PIF, have proceeded with the opening of their seasons, currently underway, and with operational and financial planning without a sincere unified vision.

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And, as time has passed, the signals have become increasingly negative. On the eve of the PGA Championship, won with a superb coast-to-coast performance by Xander Schauffele, the PGA Tour Board of Directors lost a key figure.

Jimmy Dunne, a prominent figure in the negotiations with the Saudi Sovereign Fund, has resigned with immediate effect. As reported by Sports Illustrated, in his letter addressed to the Board, Dunne speaks of "lack of significant progress" in the negotiation to unite the professional golf world.

There is a passage in the letter that I find particularly significant: "Now that the number of players on the Board exceeds independent members..., I believe my vote and role have become entirely superfluous." With Dunne's departure, the second historic independent member of the Board to leave, it is an understatement to say that the situation is in disarray.

If we add to this the back-and-forth, which amounted to nothing, staged in an attempt to bring Rory McIlroy back onto the Board, with the blessing of sponsors (RBC leading the charge), who was supposed to play a primary role in unlocking the negotiation, the scenario worsens.

In all of this, the total absence of DP World Tour on the scene stands out (has anyone seen or heard from Guy Kinnings?). And, just to calm things down, Seth Vaugh, CEO of the PGA of America, on the sidelines of the second Major of the year, reiterated his clear disapproval of Greg Norman and Yasir Al-Rumayyan's creation: "PIF can support it (LIV Golf) as much as they want" "But no matter how much money they have, because at some point burning it brings no good" "It doesn't seem like they're achieving much."

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