Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to Benefit from $3 Billion PGA Tour Deal with SSG

The PGA Tour has approved a private equity deal worth approximately $3 billion (£2.36 billion) with a group of investors led by Fenway Sports Group, the owners of Liverpool FC.As a result, golfers who remain loyal to the tour and reject offers from the rival LIV Golf circuit could potentially receive $1.5 billion in direct equity and future benefits.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy

Members have been informed about this deal, which has been in process since December last year. This coincides with the launch of PGA Tour Enterprises, a newly formed company aimed at seeking profits and initially valued at around $12 billion, running alongside the non-profit and tax-free tour.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, who will serve as the chief executive of the profit-seeking company, said, “Today marks a significant moment for the PGA Tour and golf fans around the world.

“By making PGA Tour members owners of their league, we strengthen our players’ collective investment in the success of the PGA Tour.”

In a joint statement, PGA Tour players Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, and Tiger Woods added, “We are proud to give unanimous support for this historic partnership.

“It is crucial for us to create opportunities for current and future players to be more financially and strategically engaged in their organization.”

Fenway leads the Strategic Sports Group (SSG), a leading sports investor conglomerate providing the funding injection.

Other members of the SSG include Arthur Blank (owner of the Atlanta Falcons), Wyc Grousbeck (Boston Celtics), Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks), Tom Ricketts (Chicago Cubs), Cohen Private Ventures (New York Mets), and HighPost Capital.ioioioioioio

SSG will invest up to $3 billion in PGA Tour Enterprises with an initial contribution of half of that amount. Players will receive equity in the new company based on playing achievements, tour status, and future participation.

So far, there is no involvement from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, although the PGA Tour confirmed that discussions are ongoing regarding future investments.

PGA Tour, along with the DP World Tour Europe, has been in talks with PIF – the funder of LIV Golf – and the framework agreement announced last June still needs to be ratified.

The LIV season started in Mexico on Friday with new players like Tyrrell Hatton and Adrian Meronk joining Masters champion Jon Rahm as debutants on the circuit.

The recruitment of this European trio adds further pressure on the golf institution. In the last two years, LIV has successfully recruited major tournament-winning talents like Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Cameron Smith.

However, the SSG deal provides a level of security for the PGA Tour in line with the DP World Tour.

PGA Tour states that the strategic alliance remains the focus, and discussions continue on mutually beneficial ways forward.

The American circuit is committed to a series of ‘Signature Events’ worth $20 million, introduced to maintain balance with the lucrative LIV calendar consisting of 14 tournaments.

It is still unclear when or if golf will unite under an agreed schedule allowing players to compete in both the LIV and PGA Tours.

Rory McIlroy, who was previously critical of the Saudi-funded circuit, said this week that he has “changed his mind” while urging reconciliation.

Speaking before the $20 million Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California, the world’s number two player from Northern Ireland said, “I see where golf is at, and I see that having a marginalized PGA Tour and a marginalized LIV Tour or whatever it might be is bad for both parties.”