Scottie Scheffler: Lack of Clarity Surrounding PGA Tour-PIF Deal ‘Worrisome’
GULLANE, Scotland – As Tuesday’s hearing in Washington, D.C., demonstrated, there are few details of the PGA Tour’s framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, a fact that irritated some senators and players.
“I just think that yesterday, we didn’t really learn a whole lot. As a player on Tour, we still don’t really have a lot of clarity as to what’s going on and that’s a bit worrisome. They keep saying it’s a player-run organization, and we don’t really have the information that we need,” Scottie Scheffler said Wednesday at the Genesis Scottish Open. “I watched part of [the hearing] yesterday and didn’t learn anything. So, I really don’t know what to say.”
The world No. 1 wasn’t alone in his frustration with the lack of clarity or specifics of the agreement which has the potential to create a for-profit entity that would combine assets from the Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf.
“It’s a member-run organization with a voluntary board that’s supposed to look out for the interests of the PGA Tour players on the board. I don’t believe that these decisions had to be made without involving, call it players on the board and other board members,” Jordan Spieth said.
Tour officials have explained that the framework agreement had to be negotiated in secret because of the sensitive nature of the various antitrust lawsuits between the Tour, the PIF and LIV Golf. But Tour policy board member Jimmy Dunne told senators during Tuesday’s hearing that the “definitive” agreement will need to be approved by the entire policy board, which includes five player directors and five independent directors, and will also need to be supported by the majority of players.
Officials will also have to deal with trust issues that the deal created, specifically toward Commissioner Jay Monahan, who is scheduled to return to work next week following a leave to deal with unspecified medical issues.
“If you want to call it one of the rockier times on Tour, the guy was supposed to be there for us, wasn’t. Obviously, he had some health issues. I’m glad that he said he’s feeling much better,” Xander Schauffele said. “But yeah, I’d say he has a lot of tough questions to answer in his return, and yeah, I don’t trust people easily. He had my trust and he has a lot less of it now. I don’t stand alone when I say that.”