Sources: PGA Tour finalizes $3B deal as LIV talks continue

The PGA Tour has finalized an agreement with Strategic Sports Group, a consortium of billionaire sports team owners, to infuse at least $3 billion into a new for-profit entity, PGA Tour Enterprises, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is expected to inform PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions and Korn Ferry Tour members of the deal in a conference call Wednesday morning.

The conference call, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET, will be listen-only. The player relations staff told tour members in a memo that there will be several meetings and touch points over the next several weeks to address their questions and provide additional details.

ESPN reported on Dec. 15 that a deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG) was imminent. The SSG group includes Tom Werner and John Henry (Boston Red Sox), Mark Attanasio (Milwaukee Brewers), Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons), Wyc Grousbeck (Boston Celtics), Steve Cohen (New York Mets), Tom Ricketts (Chicago Cubs) and others.

Strategic Sports Group would be a minority investor in PGA Tour Enterprises, and the PGA Tour would remain the majority shareholder.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour is continuing its negotiations to finalize an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the DP World Tour, which would potentially inject additional billions of dollars into PGA Tour Enterprises, according to sources.

The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the PIF signed a framework agreement June 6 to combine their commercial assets, including the LIV Golf League. The agreement had a Dec. 31 deadline, which was extended as the sides continued to hammer out final details. Monahan and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan reportedly met in Saudi Arabia last week.

The PGA Tour policy board held meetings ahead of this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California. The PGA Tour’s player advisory council is scheduled to meet via conference call Wednesday morning. Rory McIlroy, who resigned from the PGA Tour policy board in November, told reporters Tuesday that a deal with SSG seemed imminent.

“I know that they were supposed to vote on it Sunday night, and there was a delay,” McIlroy said Tuesday. “They were supposed to vote on it last night, and there was a delay. I feel like this thing could have been over and done with months ago. I think just for all of our sakes that the sooner that we sort of get out of it and we have a path forward, the better.”

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