Jordan Spieth dispelled the notion he’s a part of an alliance with Tiger Woods and Patrick Cantlay on the PGA Tour board because the deadline nears for the tour to finalize its framework settlement with the Saudi backers of LIV Golf, who’ve lured away Masters champion Jon Rahm.
Sports Illustrated reported the Public Funding Fund of Saudi Arabia indicated it was keen to not solely pump $2 billion into the proposed industrial deal as a part of the June 6 settlement, however an extra $1 billion equalization pool for PGA Tour gamers who turned down LIV’s profitable provides.
It additionally mentioned Cantlay had seized management and was driving the negotiations with Woods and Spieth as a part of an alliance to guard the pursuits of prime gamers. Spieth not too long ago was appointed to complete the board time period of Rory McIlroy, who resigned final month and who usually sparred with Cantlay.
“There is no truth to it,” Spieth instructed The Related Press by cellphone on Friday. “It has been very collective since I’ve jumped on. It is not even a factor. We’re searching for the most effective end result for the gamers as a complete, and it is six individuals [as player directors].”
The tour has till Dec. 31 to finalize its settlement with the PIF. The settlement, introduced June 6, mentioned the deadline could possibly be prolonged if either side agree, though PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan mentioned final week Dec. 31 was a “agency goal.”
The agent for Woods declined to remark. Cantlay selected to not communicate publicly besides to say he’s guided by a accountability to characterize the complete membership.
Cantlay, who gained the FedEx Cup in 2021 and was voted PGA Tour participant of the yr, is an mind who can come throughout as aloof. He stood out on the Ryder Cup for not carrying a hat amid experiences it was a protest for not getting paid, which he denied.
Spieth mentioned Cantlay could be a straightforward goal due to his character.
“However he is very good and he is very measured in every part he says,” Spieth mentioned. “He would not waste phrases, and plenty of instances that comes throughout as demanding.
“On no account, form or type does he management something. He desires objectivity when it appears that is not the case. He, like the remainder of us, are all in settlement. We might disagree on how, when and why. However our collective duties are to characterize the gamers — deal, no deal, a number of companions.”
The a number of companions contain non-public fairness teams which have turn out to be a part of negotiations. The tour has been narrowing them down, together with negotiating with the PIF, and Acorn Development and Fenway Sports activities Group are believed to be the main contenders.
Negotiations turned extra difficult when Rahm, a PGA Tour loyalist since LIV started, introduced Thursday he had signed with the rival league. Not solely was it an enormous loss for the PGA Tour, it was a reminder that the PIF has the cash to seize much more gamers.
“I do not suppose for him it was the cash,” Spieth mentioned of Rahm. “I consider he noticed two locations that neither one was in an awesome state of affairs proper now, and he mentioned, ‘Could as effectively have the cash.'”
Monahan initially deliberate to satisfy with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF, this week. That has been pushed again to subsequent week, and it was not clear in the event that they nonetheless would meet after the Rahm signing.
“It is a very nice play by them,” Spieth mentioned of the Saudis. “I believe we maintain the most effective hand, however they know what our hand is. It is a good leveraging device with every part happening.”
Amongst these main the Acorn Development bid to spend money on the PGA Tour is Randall Stephenson, the retired AT&T chairman who resigned from the tour board in protest of the Saudi deal.
Spieth has been an AT&T ambassador for the previous decade. McIlroy, in the meantime, was related to the Fenway Sports activities Group by way of his TGL league, which has been postponed till 2025. Woods was appointed to the board 4 months in the past, making it six participant administrators and 5 impartial administrators.
Spieth mentioned he thought the report that Cantlay had seized management of negotiations was “lots funnier than I believe Pat did.”
“I consider he is completed extra for the PGA Tour within the final six months on the board than anybody since Tiger. That is how nice he is been for the membership,” Spieth mentioned. “It is like he is the largest subject and it could not be farther from the reality.”