Tiger Woods said on Saturday that the PGA Tour aims to reach a definitive deal to complete its partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) before their self-imposed Dec. 31 deadline.
Woods, who joined the PGA Tour board in August, confirmed the deadline remains as set in early June, when the two parties and the European-based DP World Tour announced a merger, although the sides could agree to extend the date.
The Saudi PIF is the main financial backer of the PGA Tour’s recent rival LIV Golf.
“As of right now, (Dec. 31) is our time frame and our deadline. That hasn’t changed,” Woods told a press conference in Florida.
“We’re trying to get a deal done with all of the different entities that we have going on here. SSG has come into the mix now.”
The PGA Tour, scrambling to finalise its merger plans ahead of the deadline, said it would proceed with talks with US-based Strategic Sports Group(SSG) who could come in as a co-investor.
SSG includes Fenway Sports Group, owners of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and Premier League club Liverpool. It also includes investment firm Cohen Private Ventures, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen’s family office and private equity firm HighPost Capital.
“Well, they (SSG) obviously have a lot of equity and a lot of name investors that have the same alignment that we have, and we are all heading in the right direction,” Woods added.
The 15-time major winner, who made his return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last month, was speaking after playing the opening round of the PNC Championship along with his son Charlie in Florida.
Woods declined to comment on the situation of Masters champion Jon Rahm joining LIV Golf, the biggest name to switch to the Saudi-backed tournament.
“There’s been a lot of talk over the years of certain players going, and it was speculation until it happened,” Woods said.