The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV, have agreed to end their long-running feud and join forces.
Details of those peace talks have now been revealed at a US Senate hearing. It showed that the squabbling parties were spending £77million a year on legal fees between them and that, in the wake of the peace deal, Saudi Arabia had committed to invest $1billion into the game going forward.
Among the slides shown to senators was one saying: “LIV is proposing that Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods would own teams and play in at least 10 LIV events. This and the participation of other leading players is subject to further discussion.”
It is not clear if such a proposal was put to either player, both of whom have been very outspoken in their opposition to LIV. Even after a peace deal was reached, McIlroy said, “I still hate LIV Golf.”
The Senate hearing suggested the PGA Tour had pushed for the removal of Greg Norman as LIV chief executive at the conclusion of any final agreement although the Australian remains in his post and has been at recent LIV events on the calendar.
In all, a 10-page summary document was released by the Senate sub-committee scrutinising foreign investment in American sport along with 265 pages worth of emails.
PGA Tour member Jimmy Dunne, who was central in instigating the peace talks, said: “If LIV takes five players a year for five years, they can gut us. My fear is if we don’t get to an agreement. They are already putting billions of dollars into golf.
“They have a management team that wants to destroy the tour. And even though you could say they only take five or six players a year, they have an unlimited horizon and an unlimited amount of money. It isn’t like the product is better, it is just that there is a lot more money that will make people move.
“I am concerned if we do nothing, they will end up owning golf. They can, they can do it. It isn’t that big, it is only a couple of hundred players. I am deeply concerned.”