Jul 11, 2023 - Economy

PGA Tour defends potential deal with Saudi fund

Two men sit at a table at a Senate hearing.

PGA Tour COO Ron Price (left) and board member Jimmy Dunne (right) at Tuesday's Senate subcommittee hearing. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

PGA Tour COO Ron Price and board member Jimmy Dunne spent three hours in a Senate hearing Tuesday defending the Tour's decision to possibly link up with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Why it matters: The potential deal, if it even happens, will forever shake up the future of the sport.

The big picture: The deal that was announced last month was just a framework agreement, which only really included two binding principles:

  • An end to the litigation between LIV and the PGA Tour, and an agreement that neither side would try to poach any players.
  • Everything else, from the size of the PIF's investment — the number being discussed was higher than $1 billion, Price told Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) — to the full structure of the deal, is being negotiated, both Price and Dunne stressed numerous times.

What they're saying: "We have not taken any funding," Price said. "All we've done is settled the litigation and enter into a framework agreement in which the PGA Tour will be the clear leader of professional golf."

The bottom line: Any deal with the PIF is far from done. The two parties have until the end of the year to reach a full agreement.

  • "We don't have an agreement. We have an agreement to potentially have an agreement," Dunne said at one point.
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