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Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy Proposed with Ownership of LIV Golf Franchises, Documents Reveal

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy Proposed with Ownership of LIV Golf Franchises, Documents Reveal
(PA Images/Alamy)

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy may have been offered the chance to become owners and captains of their own LIV Golf teams in conjunction with the proposed deal between the PGA TOUR and LIV Golf, documents obtained by Congress have revealed.

These proposals were one of many that were discussed and negotiated by representatives from both the PGA TOUR and the Saudi government in a bid to unify the PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and LIV Golf, with talks leading to an agreement with the shock merger announced in June.

These were disclosed during a Senate sub-committee hearing in Washington, investigating the framework agreement that resolved the legal dispute between the PGA TOUR and the Saudi-back LIV Golf.

The Sub-committee, chaired by Senator Richard Blumenthal, released a 10-page summary document as well as 265 pages of emails that shed light on the nature of the discussions.

“We’re here about questions that go to the core of what the future of this sport and other sports will be in the United States, what happened that led the PGA Tour to change its position,” Blumenthal said.

“Was it only the hope of ending litigation or was it also the unspecified amount of Saudi investment that would come of it? Just how much money did PIF offer the PGA Tour and what other sources of money were sought as an alternative?”

Both Woods and McIlroy have been strong critics of LIV Golf and have heavily denounced the Saudi-funded tour with many others questioning the deal, criticizing issues of human rights and alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

Days after the PGA TOUR-LIV merger announcement dropped, when asked about it, McIlroy responded: “I still hate LIV.”

British investment banker Amanda Staveley and British businessman Roger Devlin were revealed as key figures involved on the Saudi side of discussions.

A memo from Staveley’s firm titled “The Best of Both Worlds” features a proposal Woods and McIlroy assume ownership of LIV teams and participate in around 10 LIV events annually.

Another revelation from the documents was that LIV CEO Greg Norman was set to leave his post.

PGA TOUR board member Jimmy Dunne testified alongside PGA TOUR chief operating officer Ron Price. They stated that the PGA TOUR would have been destroyed if an agreement was not reached with LIV.

“It made sense to put the man with the money together with our commissioner,” Dunne said.

In regards to rewarding golfers who had stayed loyal with the PGA TOUR instead of switching to LIV, Price said: “The tour will control operations,” Price said. “The tour will control the board of the new subsidiary and the tour will be the governing body for competitive golf.”

“These safeguards were very important to us,” Dunne added. We could not, and would not, have reached even this initial framework agreement without all of those strong safeguards against inappropriate control over the game of golf by PIF.”

It remains unclear if any of these proposals were unanimously accepted by both sides but the documents paint a picture of the lengths both sides went to find a middle ground and an agreement.

The investigation continues.