News

Some reluctance to Saudi deal, LIV player return says Malnati

By AFP

March 17, 2024 09:44 AM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

 

Reuniting the world's top golfers is a priority, US PGA Tour policy maker Peter Malnati said Saturday, but some PGA players have issues with Saudi backing and how defectors would return.

Malnati, who spoke after his third round at The Players Championship, is among six players on the PGA Tour Policy Board being urged to meet on Monday with Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, according to multiple reports.

The meeting with the backers of the upstart LIV Golf League, which has lured reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm and other big names away from the PGA, is planned for Ponte Vedra Beach a day after the Players ends.

"It would be even better if we had Jon Rahm here. I'll just say it. It would be an even better win," Malnati said. "That's something that we as a membership and leaders of the membership, we need to figure that out.

"How do we make this happen for people to come back and do it in a way that has some semblance of fairness... that can at least somewhat pass the sniff test and get us to a place where... we have all of the best players in the world?

"Something needs to happen for our sport."

The policy board, which must approve any final deal on the PGA-PIF merger framework unveiled last June to controversy, includes Americans Malnati, Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson plus Australian Adam Scott.

"I don't know the details," Malnati said. "I don't know where it is or how I'm getting there."

"The next step is to have Yasir meet with players of the PGA Tour. That's essential because, at its core, players have no business running the PGA Tour. But this is a members' organization. We should have input in the direction it goes."

 

- Some resistance to PIF -

 

Malnati said the players aren't even sure what they want when it comes to player reluctance to Saudi backing over human rights issues, a concern used to help keep members from jumping to LIV in past years.

"That's obviously something we've got to understand better as a membership," Malnati said. "Like, what is our stance? The announcement of June 6, I felt massive resistance to that personally.

"As I've learned more, I understand better and I'm very open minded to learning what involvement they want, what they want out of this and how they think they can help.

"But, yeah, on the surface, there are players who have resistance to that relationship, for sure. So that's why I do think it's important that maybe our next step is to meet at some point."

Malnati also said the issue of penalties for players who left for LIV and want to return to a unified series is a concern for many members.

"That might be the thing that's most top of mind for people," Malnati said. "You would find opinions that ran the gamut, from guys that just have a line in the sand that say never and -- I think Rory has been pretty outspoken that he wants to see the best players playing on the PGA Tour.

"So we're going to have to net out somewhere in the middle."

"They're coming back to the PGA Tour as guys (who) are going to have to earn their way back here."

One way would be a ban on equity in the new PGA Tour Enterprises for-profit entity created earlier this year.

"It's going to make players owners of the tour and guys who violated our policies aren't ever going to be eligible for that. That's a big deal," Malnati said.

"If we do find a pathway for guys to come back, there will certainly be safeguards in place to protect the members of the tour who stayed here."


AFP


Most Read

  1. Punjab ministry, school education dept toy with summer vacations announcement Punjab ministry, school education dept toy with summer vacations announcement
  2. Iran President Raisi, foreign minister die in helicopter crash Iran President Raisi, foreign minister die in helicopter crash
  3. Sarah Ali Khan to tie the knot with a rich guy this year, say rumors Sarah Ali Khan to tie the knot with a rich guy this year, say rumors
  4. Anmol Baloch brushes off dating rumours with Hamza Sohail Anmol Baloch brushes off dating rumours with Hamza Sohail
  5. 'Heeramandi's 'Tajdar', Taha Shah’s handsome debut at Cannes is everything fans wanted 'Heeramandi's 'Tajdar', Taha Shah’s handsome debut at Cannes is everything fans wanted
  6. NA148 by-polls results: PPP’s Qasim Gilani leading with 78,278 votes NA148 by-polls results: PPP’s Qasim Gilani leading with 78,278 votes

Opinion

  1. New twist in PTI founder’s strategy towards Military Establishment
    New twist in PTI founder’s strategy towards Military Establishment

    By Salim Bokhari

  2. Revoke the heat stroke
    Revoke the heat stroke

    By Dr Asif Channer

  3. Defiance, sacrifice & national resilience
    Defiance, sacrifice & national resilience

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  4. Maryam Nawaz Sharif's Police Uniform: Breaking Gender Stereotypes, Not Minds
    Maryam Nawaz Sharif's Police Uniform: Breaking Gender Stereotypes, Not Minds

    By Alysha Khan

  5. Pak-Saudi-Iran economic proximity
    Pak-Saudi-Iran economic proximity

    By News Desk

  6. Military Establishment rules out any deal with what it terms a ‘bunch of anarchists’
    Military Establishment rules out any deal with what it terms a ‘bunch of anarchists’

    By Salim Bokhari