Golf: Woods Optimistic After PGA Tour’s Meeting With PIF

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Golf star Tiger Woods expressed optimism on Tuesday after attending a recent meeting between the PGA Tour and Saudi backers of LIV Golf that left the 15-time major winner more hopeful for a potential deal that would reunite the game.

Woods, speaking ahead of this week’s US Open, is part of a subcommittee engaged in direct negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and was in New York City last Friday for the first in-person gathering between the two sides since March.

“It was productive. And is there light at the end of tunnel? I think we’re closer to that point than we were pre-meeting,” Woods said at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.

“We discussed a lot of different endings and how we get there. I think that both sides walked away from the meeting, we all felt very positive in that meeting.”

The PGA Tour, PIF and Europe-based DP World Tour announced a framework agreement in June 2023 to house all their commercial operations in a for-profit entity called PGA Tour Enterprises.

The framework agreement stunned the golf world and expired at the end of 2023, but the sides have been working to reach a deal, though many involved in the talks have said there is a long way to go to bring the fractured sport back together.

The PGA Tour has since secured a $3-billion investment into PGA Tour Enterprises from a group of US sports team owners as part of a deal that allows for co-investment from the PIF.

“Both sides were looking at different ways to get to the end game,” Woods said of last week’s meeting.

“I think that both sides shared a deep passion for how we need to get there. And yes, there are going to be differences of opinion, but we all want the same thing.”

Woods is returning to competition this week for the first time since the PGA Championship where, in his third event of 2024, he missed the halfway cut by eight shots.

In addition to fitness, the three-time US Open champion has spent time working on his chipping and putting in recent weeks and feels his body is ready to withstand four days of competition in an event known as the toughest test in golf.

“I feel like I have the strength to be able to do it. It’s just a matter of doing it,” said Woods, who will play the first two rounds alongside 2022 US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and former runner-up Will Zalatoris.

“This golf course is going to test every single aspect of your game, especially mentally, and just the mental discipline that it takes to play this particular golf course, it’s going to take a lot.”

Source Reuters

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