They misunderstood’: Light shed on LIV’s bungled rankings play as ‘promises’ left broken

They misunderstood’: Light shed on LIV’s bungled rankings play as ‘promises’ left broken

Souring’ friendships and ‘old scars’ reopened: Why the PGA’s biggest threat comes from within,
The question is; what is McIlroy’s differing view that has left him at odds with the current player directors?

No stranger to the bumps and bruises of a volatile post-LIV landscape, the PGA Tour has this week been shaken once more.

On the eve of the PGA Championship, the architect of the framework agreement that would change professional men’s golf forever, Jimmy Dunne, abruptly quit from its policy board.

You may not have heard of Dunne, but no figure encapsulates the state of play in golf’s 12-month trainwreck better than the Wall Street powerbroker.

One year ago, Dunne was secretly meeting with the PGA Tour’s trillion-dollar disrupters, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), to broker a deal many thought couldn’t be done.

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A month later, jaws dropped globally when it was revealed the PGA Tour had agreed to form a new entity with its sworn rival, effectively merging the US circuit with the PIF-funded LIV Golf.

The year following the agreement has been marked by lawsuits, political concerns, intra-organisational squabbling and player power moves — but no official deal.

Which brings us to Tuesday (AEST) when the mastermind of the agreement was washing his hands of the deal altogether, deeply exasperated by the failure to will it into reality.

Golf is to this day in a deeply fractured state despite the promise of total reunification, which tauntingly lingers just out of reach.

Each month brings a new report of why an official deal between the PGA Tour and PIF is imminent, only for a development like Tuesday’s to bring its complexity back into jarring focus.

From widespread player outrage, leadership instability, and even a US Senate probe into the motivations of the deal, the path forward is a minefield.

But it’s what’s happening within the PGA Tour camp that is emerging as arguably the biggest factor in why golf’s bitter war is set to be dragged into yet another year.

Players were left outraged that Dunne — at the behest of PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan — could almost single-handedly strike a deal that would change their careers.

The backlash was so strong, particularly towards Monahan, that concessions began being made in a bid to subdue the flames at PGA headquarters.

The biggest concession was one that allowed players to outnumber independent directors on the PGA Tour policy board.

How that new-found power is being wielded may be responsible for the PGA Tour’s $3bn (A$4.5bn) deal with the Strategic Sports Group, but it is also to blame for the ongoing standoff with PIF.

Dunne’s resignation letter shed some light on this messy situation, while confirming the poorly-kept secret that despite his successful talks with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, he had been frozen out of the next round of negotiating.

“As you are aware, I have not been asked to take part in negotiations with the PIF since June 2023,” Dunne wrote.

“Since the players now outnumber the independent Directors on the Board, and no meaningful progress has been made towards a transaction with the PIF, I feel like my vote and my role is utterly superfluous.

It is crucial for the Board to avoid letting yesterday’s differences interfere with today’s decisions, especially when they influence future opportunities for the Tour.”

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