Rory McIlroy holds talks with Saudi backers of LIV Golf after £1.2bn investment

McIlroy was listed as being on the PGA Tour’s Transaction Subcommittee.

Cormac Pearson
Saturday 11 May 2024 15:37 BST
(Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy said he has been “some way” involved with discussions with Saudi backers of LIV Golf.

McIlroy has long been one of the most vocal critics of LIV Golf, insisting in July last year that he would rather retire than play on the Saudi Arabian breakaway, but has softened his stance on the influx of money from the sovereign state’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which bankrolls the LIV Golf League.

After finishing the first round at Wells Fargo three shots off the pace, tied in second place, McIlroy told reporters he has had conversations with the newly set up Transaction Committee, announced by the PGA Tour in a press release on Thursday.

“I’ve already had calls with that group, I had a really good hour and a half Zoom with those guys on Sunday, we went through a 150-page doc about the future product model and everything,” McIlroy said.

“Yeah, I’m not on the board, but I’m in some way involved in that Transaction Committee. I don’t have a vote so I don’t, you know, I don’t have I guess a meaningful say in what happens in the future.

“But at least I can, I feel like I can be helpful on that committee, and that was sort of a compromise for I guess not getting a board seat.”

The PGA Tour announced that Joe Gorder, the chair and chief executive of Valero, an energy company in the United States, had been elected as the inaugural chairman of PGA Tour Enterprises, while Australian Adam Scott and Tiger Woods are on the board.

A statement said: “The board has established specialised committees dedicated to the organisation’s strategic priorities. This includes the formation of a Transaction Subcommittee, which has been engaging directly in negotiations with the Public Investment Fund (PIF).”

They said the Strategic Sports Group had made an investment of 1.5bn dollars (£1.19bn).

It comes after McIlroy said he would not replace Webb Simpson on the PGA Tour policy board after the prospect of his return reopened “old wounds”.

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