**Tiger Woods Joins PGA Tour Board of Directors Amidst Concerns over Saudi-LIV Golf Deal**
**The PGA Tour’s Deal with Saudi-Backed LIV Golf**
Professional golfers have expressed concerns about the PGA Tour’s deal with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf. In response to player demands, Tiger Woods has joined the board of directors.
**Changes to the PGA Tour Board Structure**
The PGA Tour’s board structure has undergone changes. Previously consisting of five players, the board will now consist of six players, five independent directors, and the PGA of America director. Woods has been chosen by the golfers to fill the additional seat on the board.
**Replacing Randall Stephenson**
The board intends to name a replacement for the seat previously held by AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson, who resigned due to “serious concerns” about the deal.
**Player Directors’ Involvement in Major Decisions**
The board plans to update its governing documents to ensure that major decisions cannot be made without the involvement of player directors. This move could potentially impact the LIV deal, as the Tour is currently finalizing the framework agreement.
**Woods’ Statement on the Tour’s Operations**
Tiger Woods has stated that this is a critical point for the Tour and that the players will strive to ensure that any changes are made in the best interest of all Tour stakeholders.
**LIV Golf’s Impact on the Golf World**
LIV Golf entered the golf world with lucrative contracts and record-breaking tournament prizes, attracting star players with the potential to earn up to $100 million. Despite the tempting offers, several golfers, including Woods, chose to remain loyal to the PGA Tour, as the league was initially deemed compromising to the integrity of the game.
**The Saudi-Backed LIV Golf Agreement**
In June of this year, the PGA Tour entered into an agreement with LIV Golf, turning the two organizations into collaborators primarily funded by the Saudis. The deal is contingent upon the approval of Yasir al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco, one of the most profitable companies in history.
**Players’ Objections and Board Composition**
Players expressed their objections to the LIV deal, feeling blindsided by the agreement, which was largely arranged by non-player board members. At the time, Rory McIlroy stated his dislike for LIV Golf and hoped for its disappearance. Some players directed their frustrations towards PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.
**Restoring Trust and Congressional Scrutiny**
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan acknowledged the need to regain lost trust and confidence resulting from the surprise announcement of the Framework Agreement. The deal has also come under scrutiny by the U.S. government, with a Senate panel holding hearings to discuss its implications. PGA Tour officials argued that they had no other option, given the extensive resources of the Saudis’ Public Investment Fund.
**The Potential Impact of the LIV Golf Deal**
There are concerns that the LIV Golf deal could undermine the PGA Tour, potentially leading to the Saudis owning the sport if left unaddressed. However, during the Senate hearings, there was no indication that Congress would block the tour from partnering with the Saudis.
In conclusion, the PGA Tour has made changes to its board structure and has included Tiger Woods as a director in response to concerns about the Saudi-backed LIV Golf deal. The board also intends to involve player directors in major decisions and is updating its governing documents to reflect this change. The LIV Golf deal has faced objections from players, scrutiny from the U.S. government, and concerns about its potential impact on the PGA Tour. Although there are anxieties about the future, it remains uncertain whether Congress will intervene to prevent the tour from partnering with the Saudis.