As part of PGA Tour executives Ron Price and Jimmy Dunne testifying before a Senate sub-committee amid news of the tour’s partnership with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, both parties were forced to submit a series of internal documents relating to the deal. The documents, which can be read in full here, include internal e-mails, text messages, and other communications between both parties that show some intricacies of how a high stakes deal like this came together.
Testing the waters
The e-mails show it was late last year that served as the turning point in golf’s Civil War. Sensing that the Saudi-funded LIV league had momentum on its side, brought about by the Public Investment Fund’s billions of dollars in resources, PGA Tour director Jimmy Dunne made first contact, though early attempts were hampered by technical issues – and a missed call while on the golf course.
Hashing out a deal
Sensing there was an agreement to be had, the two sides began discussing the outlines of what would become the framework agreement. Ideas such as incorporating LIV’s team golf schedule into the PGA Tour’s “Fall” series, having Rory McIlory or Tiger Woods-owned teams, Dunne overseeing what would become of LIV, and a handshake agreement that Greg Norman would be ousted upon completion of the deal were all floated.
A rushed announcement
After the framework agreement was reached, the next immediate step was announcing the deal. Fearing that they would be scooped on news of the deal, central figures at the PGA Tour sought to seize “control of the narrative” by pushing forward with an announcement.