Major U.S. Sports Team Owners Nearing Huge Deal With PGA Tour


It’s been a run of bad news for the PGA Tour over the past six months. Most notably with the shocking departure of formerly committed Tour superstar Jon Rahm for the significantly more lucrative LIV Golf pastures.


But the beleaguered league may finally be getting some relief thanks to a new, multibillion-dollar deal with a group of prominent owners from other sports. That’s according to a new report from ESPN on Friday, which says the deal between the Tour and a group of owners is imminent.

Strategic Sports Group, an alliance between the owners of the Boston Red Sox, Tom Werner and John Henry, Arthur Blank of the Atlanta Falcons and Wyc Grousbeck of the Boston Celtics, is close to finalizing their investment into a new golf organization. PGA Tour Enterprises, as it’s set to be known, would receive a $3 billion infusion and set up the company as a for-profit entity.

According to ESPN, the Tour is still working on a potential agreement with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), the backers of the LIV Golf tour. And it sets up a number of major potential changes to both the future of golf as well as the long term goals of the PIF.

PGA Tour
Jay Monahan’s hands are tied behind his back and he only has one option in terms of ‘responding’ to LIV Golf. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

PGA Tour Investment Paves Way For LIV Backers To Forge New Relationships

If the tour does complete agreements with both the owners’ Strategic Sports Group and the PIF, they could get more than $7 billion worth of investment. The PGA Tour Enterprises would then control the assets of the existing Tour, PIF and DP World Tour.

As the agreements currently stand, the PGA Tour would have control over the new entity, with both investor groups being minority owners.

And as ESPN reported, the Saudis are set to use the opportunity to engage with new partners that include prominent, “high-profile franchise owners like Henry, Blank and others.” The PIF will now have access to Steve Cohen, Tom Ricketts, Marc Lasry and Mark Attansio, opening up the MLB and NBA worlds.

“They get to rub shoulders with all these billionaire American sports magnates,” a source told ESPN. “It’s a long game for them. They’re not stopping with golf. They want a piece of everything.”

There it is. That’s what the PIF has really been after, not “growing” the game of golf like the LIV players reference. It’s about increasing their opportunities to invest in all major professional sports. Golf provided an easy entry point, with players susceptible to poaching thanks to their status as independent contractors.

It’s a similar strategy to their ability to grab soccer players from European leagues, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Karim Benzema playing in the Saudi Pro League.

What’s next for the PIF then? Who knows? But they’re not going away anytime soon. No matter who the PGA Tour partners with.

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