Jay Monahan, the PGA The tour director, who was in Venice at the end of last month, went unnoticed.
He thought about it while he was eating breakfast. the Palazzo Ducale and his secret talks with Yasir Al-Rumayyan in Italy the governor of Saudi Arabia’s more than $700 billion sovereign wealth fund, might stay secret. Leakage would compromise what was known only by a few insiders: the existence of the fund. the PGA Tour was considering going into business with al-Rumayyan’s LIV Golf league, whose monthslong clash with Monahan’s tour had become a fight as much over golf’s soul as its future.
Then Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1’s chief executive, strolled into view. The reason he was here is unclear. the The same wedding which brought al-Rumayyan and his wife to Venice. The wedding that brought al-Rumayyan to Venice. the motor sports executive spotted the PGA Tour’s leader, he would assuredly connect the presences of Monahan and al-Rumayyan, and golf’s greatest secret might get out. All Monahan could do, he told people later, was try to dodge Domenicali’s gaze.
Domenicali didn’t seem to be aware of him. It was not until last Tuesday that the shocking news of what would amount to seven secret meetings and calls became public. PGA Tour, the dominant force in men’s elite golf for decades, planned to join forces with LIV, the Upstart had sparked debate about the The morality behind Saudi money the game.
This agreement marked a unique moment. the History of the The professional game. Civil war had disrupted, defined and shaped the once genteel sport — for example, Monahan once publicly asked whether PGA Tour players ever felt that they had to apologize because of the competition on the circuit — was abruptly suspended. The tour’s reputation was stained and many of its loyalists were furious, but its coffers were poised to overflow.
The deal, though not yet closed, was also a breakthrough for Saudi Arabia’s ambitions in golf. It was the culmination a plan dating back years. “Project Wedge,” the Al-Rumayyan is one of the beneficiaries under this agreement the kingdom’s most influential officials, a seat in the sport’s most rarefied rooms. For a nation that craved an increased global profile, a more diverse economy than just oil, and to distract from the horrific human rights violations, the The agreement is another step towards rapprochement. the West.
The following account was compiled from interviews conducted with nine individuals who have knowledge about the negotiations. The majority of the participants spoke. the Conditions of anonymity the lead-up to an extraordinary transaction — one so closely held that most of golf’s eminent bankers, lawyers and broadcast partners had no warning that it was even being discussed.
It was not until this spring that even golf’s most connected power brokers grew confident a deal could happen this year, if ever. There was enough obvious pressure, with some being more intense than others. This pushed both sides to secret discussions.
LIV had enticed some of golf’s most talented and bankable stars, including Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, with contracts that sometimes promised them $100 million or more. The league’s television deal, though, had been meager, and its lawyers had acknowledged that its revenues were “virtually zero.” Federal judges in California added to LIV’s turmoil when they showed limited interest in shielding the Public Investment Fund the It was a type of scrutiny that it avoided generally in previous court cases the United States
The following are some of the ways to get in touch with each other the PGA Tour, an ageing nonprofit organization with a tough reputation and a large audience, faced greater danger. Justice Department investigators were examining heavy-handed practices as part of federal antitrust inquiries the The tour was used to deter player departures, and it is being examined whether the tour leaders are too close with powerful golf organisations like Augusta National. Golf Club, the Organiser the Masters Tournament
It is more precarious. the tour’s efforts to retain the Its financial situation was severely affected by players’ loyalty, including the increase of prize funds of up to tens or even hundreds of millions. The tour’s television contracts had been constructed before it was facing one of the richest conceivable rivals. And the tour’s legal fees had swelled to more than $40 million a year — up more than twentyfold from the Starting a new the decade — as it waged fights some thought could last until at least 2026.
Monahan foretold this.
“If this is an arms race and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can’t compete,” He said in Connecticut last June.
Last in the year, the PGA Tour has announced the appointment of James J. Dunne III as a board member. the Wealth fund wondered if he might one day emerge as an agent.
He did on April 18, when a WhatsApp message flashed on al-Rumayyan’s phone. The tone of one person toward another was a bit harsh. the world’s most influential financiers, a figure often addressed as “Your Excellency” The casualness of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was striking.
“Yasir,” Dunne introduced himself as he asked for a time to call. “hopefully,” Visit. He signed the Message with the same informality “Jimmy.”
The approach, as optimistic and unguarded as men’s professional golf had been tumultuous and tense, led to a conversation within hours. Dunne & al-Rumayyan found quick harmony. the Negotiations: neither man demanded a non-disclosure contract.
‘Let’s see how that would work.’
London was neutral ground, only hours from golf’s birthplace in Scotland. Edward D. Herlihy joined the men in less than a weeks time. the Chairperson the PGA Tour’s board. Herlihy was not any ordinary board member; more than a half-century after he earned his law degree, he was a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and one of Wall Street’s most sought-after counselors for mergers and acquisitions.
Even without nondisclosure Agreements the The men agreed that any deal they were considering would be better weighed privately. The majority of members in the tour’s board, including Rory McIlroy, one of the world’s most renowned golfers and a ferocious critic of LIV, and the former AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson, would be largely shut out. Greg Norman, the Two-time British Open winners who had imagined something like LIV well before he was its commissioner, wouldn’t be at the The majority of people will not come to the bargaining table. the Experienced bankers, lawyers and other professionals the Over the past two years, over the years.
The following are some of the ways to get in touch with each other the Negotiators knew also that a deal would not be achieved at the Monahan was not present at the initial meeting in London as Monahan’s allies gathered to take stock. the Saudis.
Dunne and Herlihy discussed golf, their lives and themselves in a meeting. They also shared cigars and ate dinner together to see if their relationship would last through hours of conversations.
Dunne’s personal history made him an unlikely figure to connect with al-Rumayyan. More than one-third of his investment bank’s employees died in the 9/11 attacks the World Trade Center. Dunne has been away from the The office was playing golf on Tuesday. After years of support, more than 20 years later the Families the He was in a meeting with an official of a nation that many still accuse. the attacks. He felt that al-Rumayyan, and his allied, were not to be blamed.
“If someone can find someone that unequivocally was involved with it, I’ll kill him myself,” Dunne told the Golf The Channel This Week “We don’t have to wait around.”
Al-Rumayyan, Herlihy, and Dunne, an attorney for a wealth funds, beat Brian Gillespie and Dunne in Beaverbrook the morning following their dinner. Golf Club.
Sometime before the Herlihy, who was with the men after lunch said that he thought it essential for professional golf to be united. This was a clear indication that the Tour was opened to an Armistice the The golf industry and the wealth fund were thrown into chaos.
“Let’s see how that would work,” “He replied,” he said.
You can also find out more about the following: PGA Monahan was told by tour men that he must meet with his Saudi competitor.
Détentes and nerves
Al-Rumayyan had a scheduled trip to Venice for mid-May. the Wedding of the The daughter of Lawrence Stroll the Formula 1 billionaire racing titan. The lagoon’s islands were not exactly rife with golf courses, but the Both sides agreed to meet in Venice, where Al-Rumayyan Monahan will be meeting for the first time.
Monahan was a rising star in the Fenway Sports Group. the PGA Tour, before becoming commissioner in 2017, spent several months talking and studying about al-Rumayyan.
The tour had capitalized on LIV’s Saudi ties, harnessing American emotion and skepticism to sow moral doubts about the league. Monahan, however, would now undertake a clandestine mission to meet the The man who his team vilified.
The group is from the United States delayed its arrival after its aircraft was diverted to Farnborough (England). Monahan, after several boat rides and a final greeting with al-Rumayyan. the Saudi executive’s wife and daughters before the The men sat in a closed session lasting about two hours.
The following are some of the ways to get in touch with us the Al-Rumayyan walked to the Wedding, an extravagant affair with world-class sportsmen and movie stars. Americans prepare for serious negotiation the The next morning, al-Rumayyan and I met up for dinner. The trip would also include a meal with al-Rumayyan’s family and some of his closest lieutenants.
The following are some of the ways to improve your ability to speak English. the tour’s negotiators, the Meetings in Italy the The most important of the Conversations that continued in San Francisco, New York and via videoconferences, telephone calls and meetings over a period of less than one month.
During Memorial Day weekend, the PGA Tour’s Cessna Citation X jet hopscotched from New York to San Francisco. Michael Klein ordered takeout hamburgers to be brought aboard the aircraft during a quick stop in Omaha. the A well-connected and influential banker, who worked with al-Rumayyan. the trip.
The majority of the Flight, including Monahan Dunne Herlihy included, was focused on ironing out the remaining details. They hoped to complete the deal in San Francisco where al-Rumayyan attended meetings related to the wealth fund’s other business dealings.
A deal was near, and its details were described in pages upon pages of legalese. the New company simply known as “NewCo.” Some people are able to the Negotiators were nervous. They were sure that a leak would create a stir if it happened before the deal was finalized: How You can also find out more about the following: the PGA Tours to consider the Saudi money it had denounced?
“What changed?” Monahan says after the The deal was made public. “I looked at where we were at that point in time, and it was the right point in time to have a conversation.”
“I recognize that people are going to call me a hypocrite,” “He said” “Anytime I said anything, I said it with the information that I had at that moment, and I said it based on someone that’s trying to compete for the PGA Tour and our players. I accept those criticisms. But circumstances do change.”
The following are some of the ways to get in touch with us the After a long day of bargaining, around a dozen guests gathered in the Four Seasons to toast and sign. the Closed doors deals are best.
You can also find out more about the following: PGA Tour contingent did not linger long. Monahan, Jack Nicklaus’s former partner in the Ohio tournament, was to attend. the modern tour in the The 1960s rejected an offer of more than 100 million dollars to host LIV.
The pact is intended to be a binding agreement. the The components that make money are the PGA It did not signify that Tour and the LIV would merge with TV and sponsorship deals into a company whose cash flow was expected to be Saudi. the The deal is done. The deal was complete. the The litigation has ended the rivals unable to delve into each other’s books. Deal did not require a particular investment. the Saudi Arabians but they promised them the Exclusive rights to inject money into the New company. New company. PGA Monahan would be able to enjoy a tour. the company’s chief executive and a majority of board seats, including ones filled by Herlihy and Dunne. Al-Rumayyan, however, would not be. the chairman.
Experts in antitrust expect many experts the The agreement intensifies the Justice Department’s scrutiny of professional golf, in part since Monahan said the Deal would “take the competitor off of the board.” It has been condemned by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
It is expected that the tour will cost you well beyond the Billions of dollars. There is competition to build a $1 trillion wealth fund. the The next few decades will soon be gone.
The finalization of the New York meeting was completed on Tuesday. the deal’s rollout, Monahan and al-Rumayyan sat beside each other for a television interview. Around the The same time. the Players’ mobile phones around the The world is lit with the news.
Monahan then flew into Toronto and addressed what he called a golfing group. “intense” You can also find out more about the following: “heated.”
Dunne and al-Rumayyan retreated to Long Island’s Deepdale Golf Another round with the club
Al-Rumayyan is the winner again.
Mark Mazzetti You can also find out more about the following: Tariq Panja Contributed reporting