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PGA-LIV talks drag on one year after surprise deal announcement

Jun 6, 2024
Illustration of two golf clubs crossed in front of a large fire

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

It's been exactly one year since the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund announced their intentions to combine forces, yet a deal appears no closer to fruition.

Why it matters: The shocking deal, which was supposed to end golf's civil war between the PGA Tour and LIV, has instead been littered with drama and roadblocks.

Zoom in: Talks are still ongoing between the two sides, with an in-person meeting scheduled for Friday, the New York Times reported.

  • The meeting with include members of PGA Tour's transaction committee, such as Tiger Woods as Fenway Sports Group's John Henry. Rory McIlroy will also join remotely, the NYT reported.
  • The transaction committee, part of the newly created PGA Tour Enterprises, has taken the lead in talks with the Saudis in recent months, as Axios has previously reported.
  • Last month, the two sides exchanged term sheets that would have seen PIF invest $1.5 billion in the for-profit entity, the NYT reported.

Catch up quick: The framework deal announced last June would have combined the commercial businesses of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf.

  • The surprise announcement immediately sent shockwaves throughout the sport and drew the ire of some players and U.S. regulators wary of foreign influence in golf.
  • As talks dragged on, the PGA Tour attracted further interest from U.S. investors to co-invest in the deal.
  • The PGA announced a $3 billion investment from a U.S. group, led by Henry and New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, in January.
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