Why Tony Kornheiser is 'extremely bothered' by Jon Rahm's move to LIV (2:13)Tony Kornheiser is confused by Jon Rahm leaving the PGA Tour for the LIV Golf League. (2:13)
A law firm representing 21 PGA Tour players, including former Masters champion Danny Willett, sent a letter to the PGA Tour's policy board Sunday, demanding transparency and a meeting with the board's independent directors to discuss potential deals with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and a U.S. equity group being led by Fenway Sports Group.
In the letter, attorney Jacob Buchdahl of Susman Godfrey LLC of New York, complained that most PGA Tour golfers had been "kept entirely in the dark" while the policy board negotiated a deal that might transform the tour in which the players are members.
"The board has recently received multiple bids by prospective capital partners that will potentially transform how the PGA Tour operates, who controls it, and who owns it," Buchdahl wrote. "All but a handful of PGA Tour players have been kept entirely in the dark about the prospective transaction, how it will impact them, and what conflicts of interest may impact the decision-makers."
Buchdahl demanded "full disclosure of the details and analyses of any proposals by prospective capital partners, which should be shared promptly with all Tour players."
"The PGA Players we represent want transparency from the PGA Tour Policy Board before it makes any decisions impacting the permanent structure, economics, or competitive rules of the PGA Tour," the law firm said in a statement to ESPN. "Only with additional information can the PGA Players ensure that the right decisions are made for the right reasons and that no players are left behind. Our clients know their sentiments and goals are shared widely by most PGA Players."
The group of players includes Wesley Bryan, winner of the 2017 RBC Heritage, as well as two-time winner Andrew Landry and three-time winner Chez Reavie. None of the players included among the group of 21 is ranked in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
"The PGA Tour Players who have been kept in the dark about this process are the lifeblood of the Tour," the letter said. "They deserve to know what is happening."
In a memo to golfers Sunday, the PGA Tour policy board, which consists of six player directors, including Tiger Woods, and five independent directors, said it was moving forward in negotiations to form a strategic partnership with Strategic Sports Group and was continuing its talks with PIF officials.
Strategic Sports Group includes owners Mark Attanasio (Milwaukee Brewers); Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons); Cohen Private Ventures (New York Mets); Wyc Grousbeck (Boston Celtics); Tom Werner and John Henry (Boston Red Sox); Tom Ricketts (Chicago Cubs); and Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks, former co-owner).
The PGA Tour signed a framework agreement with the PIF on June 6 to combine its commercial properties into a new for-profit entity, PGA Tour Enterprises. The Saudi sovereign wealth fund was prepared to invest $2 billion into the new company, according to PGA Tour COO Ron Price's Congressional testimony in July.
The framework agreement has a Dec. 31 deadline. Monahan was scheduled to meet with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, PIF's governor, this week.
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