PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund Have Yet to Meet Together

According to a report, the new CEO of the DP World Tour wants an agreement to move quickly, and he also believes European LIV golfers should be able to play in the Ryder Cup.
May 22, 2009; Surrey, ENGLAND;  Lee Slattery tees off on the first hole at the second round of the
May 22, 2009; Surrey, ENGLAND; Lee Slattery tees off on the first hole at the second round of the / Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly a year after the shocking “framework agreement’’ was announced between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, all of the parties have yet to formally meet together.

That is according to Guy Kinnings, the new CEO of the DP World Tour, who officially took over from Keith Pelley this month.

Kinnings, in a media session with a small group UK and Irish golf writers in London, discussed his hopes for an agreement and also made clear that the European Ryder Cup rules do not need to be changed for players such as Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton to be part of the team next year at Bethpage Black.

“From my perspective, all I want to do is make sure we as quickly as possible get the right people around a table to talk about what can a future look like,’’ Kinnnings said in a report from the Scotsman newspaper. “I don’t expect them to go in knowing all the answers. There’s lots of things have to get worked at. What does the product look like, probably from 2026 and beyond? What’s the pathway? What does it mean for things?

“But, until you get into the room with the right people with the right intent to try and find a solution, you are never going to work out a deal and, at the end of the day, this is what is needed right now as quickly as we can. We’ve all seen—even with a great Masters—that TV figures are down. If we listen to the fans, there’s something that needs to get fixed and I see it as a huge opportunity because, if you can unite and go global, that’s exactly what we are all about.’’

The framework agreement was supposed to bring the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF—which backs LIV Golf—together by the end of 2023. That deadline was missed, and since then the PGA Tour has received private equity from a U.S. based consortium of investors called Strategic Sports Group that can be as much as $3 billion.

A plan has been unveiled for PGA Tour players to receive equity in the new PGA Tour Enterprises, a for-profit company. Kinnings said that the PIF’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, wants to be part of the group of investors.

“I was talking to the guys from the Strategic Sports Group  and I said ‘listen, we’ve got to get together, we’ve got to pull it all together, we’ve got to find the product that works—it probably won’t be until 2026 but beyond there—and is good for the game, something that fans like and works for everyone.’ But, at the end of the day, it has got to be something that is appealing to them. It’s got to work for all parties and everyone is going to have to do things they don’t necessarily want to, a compromise. But that’s what you do if you strike a deal, it won’t happen until we get everyone in a room together.”

Kinnings also said that players, such as Rahm, who remain a DP World Tour member but pay fines and deal with suspensions for missing conflicting events can still be eligible for the Ryder Cup.


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Bob Harig

BOB HARIG

Bob Harig is a senior golf writer for Sports Illustrated. He has more than 25 years experience covering golf, including 15 at ESPN. Bob is a regular guest on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio and has written two books, DRIVE: The Lasting Legacy of Tiger Woods and Tiger and Phil: Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry. He graduated from Indiana University where he earned an Evans Scholarship, named in honor of the great amateur golfer Charles (Chick) Evans Jr. Bob, a former president of the Golf Writers Association of America, lives in Clearwater, Florida.