Rory McIlroy exits PGA Tour group chat after hearing Jordan Spieth’s latest comments about PIF deal.

Rory McIlroy has removed himself from a PGA Tour group chat after learning Jordan Spieth felt a PIF deal was no longer needed in light of the circuit’s deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG) this week.

The PGA Tour announced earlier this week a $3 billion private investment with SSG, a group of US-based investors headed by John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC.

Tiger Woods thanked SSG for their contributions to the game and the PGA Tour.

Spieth, who is on the policy board of the PGA Tour, had been working on this deal’s finer points for the membership for the past few months.

Additionally, SSG has contributed to the funding of PGA Tour Enterprises, the PGA Tour’s new business initiative that will allow “close to 200 members” to acquire stock in the circuit.

Members of the PGA Tour will receive $1.5 billion in immediate and future equity as a result of the agreement.

Spieth cast a unanimous vote in favor of the deal, as did player directors Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, and Webb Simpson.

However, the most recent information from the PGA Tour begs even more concerns about their future, given that the Saudi PIF and the PGA Tour have extended the deadline for their framework agreement until shortly before The Masters.

The $700 billion PIF is the gold mine that powers the LIV Golf League.

The contract between them and the PGA Tour was supposed to expire on December 31, 2023, but it looks like it will now expire at the end of March 2024.

The PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said this week that the PIF is still very much in the running “subject to regulatory agreements” despite the delay in reaching a deal.

However, not everyone believes the PIF is still necessary for the PGA Tour.

Among them is three-time major champion Jordan Spieth, who responded to the disputed deal this week in a fairly direct manner.

During the talks, Simpson added that the PIF was “not a priority.”

When asked at Pebble Beach by a reporter how significant the PIF is to the PGA Tour, Spith responded, “I think it just depends.”

According to Spieth, there was no need for PIF investment. “We don’t have to [bring them on board],” he said in a succinct response.

“At this point if the PIF were interested in coming in on terms that our members like and/or the economic terms aren’t beyond SSG’s and they feel it would be a good idea, I think that’s where the discussions will start,” he continued, obviously choosing his words carefully.

However, McIlroy is not at all pleased with Spieth’s remarks.

So much so that after listening to Spieth, a member of the policy board, discuss the PIF, McIlroy has chosen to unfollow the player on the PGA Tour group chat.

Naturally, at the end of 2023, McIlroy resigned from the PGA Tour policy board in order to devote more time to improving his game.

Before this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy spoke with Spieth for an hour, according to Sports Illustrated.

McIlroy wanted to get things off his chest, but Spieth wanted to know if everything was alright with him after noticing he had left the group chat.

“I simply wish to step back from the controversy a little bit,” stated McIlroy, who has completely changed his mind regarding Saudi Arabia’s sponsorship of the PGA Tour in 2024.

“I had a fairly candid conversation with him [Spieth] regarding his remarks.”

Rory McIlroy adamant PGA Tour must strike deal with PIF

McIlroy explained what he did not like much about Spieth’s latest comments about PIF.

“My concern was that, as a prospective investor who believed that the deal would be completed in July, I heard a board member mention that we don’t really need them at this point. I wonder how they will perceive that and how they will feel about it.”

“They still have hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars that they intend to invest in sports, and while I completely understand what Jordan was saying and attempting to convey, if I were PIF and I heard that coming from this place the day after we completed the SSG deal, I wouldn’t have been overly thrilled.

The PIF has to be a part of the new PGA Tour Enterprises, according to McIlroy.

“I don’t think it’s an option for the game of golf to have PIF as your partner as opposed to not having them as your partner,” McIlroy said.

“I believe they’re dedicated to making investments in golf and in the sports industry as a whole, and if you can convince them to allocate their funds in a way that will promote golf as a unifying sport.”

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