If you miss follow-up, this PGA Tour-LIV drama is not far away -LSB

4 Min Read

This past week in golf, we’ve had stories of a failed coup, back-alley deals with private equity firms, an all-consuming power broker, a awkward media appearances, and merger negotiations on par with anything that happened between Waystar Royco and GoJo. All that’s left for HBO to do is see if Jesse Armstrong wants to sift through another industry’s baggage.

At the head of the bully is Patrick Cantlay – unless you believe what Jordan Speith has to say – because, apparently, the former tried to hijack the negotiations, and fail at a rate it would send Kendall Roy on a three-month bender. Cantlay is in a position to be so influential because the six players on the PGA Tour’s policy board have the final say on a deal agreed with the Saudi Public Investment Fund or any other investors. (Tiger Woods and Speith are on the board, and may also be part of the cabal, but Speith refutes all of this.)

Cantlay reportedly courted private equity firms to help get leverage in the negotiations, the Saudis caught wind because of course they did and decided to lure some more bargaining chips to their side. So the Jon Rahm signed for half a billion, with rumors of Tony Finau and others in talks.

Golf fans’ last notable run-in with Cantlay was at the Ryder Cup this year when he started a lot of drama over hats and allegedly money. Lest we forget, this is what led to Rory McIlroy trying to fight Cantlay’s caddy in the parking lot in the most harmless way possible.

It’s also what prompted this fantastic headline by the Mirror: “Ryder Cup villain ‘tells the shots’ on PGA Tour after Rory McIlroy resignation“. McIlroy’s resignation from the said board also had something to do with Cantlay as the two admittedly do not see eye to eye.

One of the hiccups in the talks is the pool of money set aside for PGA Tour golfers who have had offers from LIV but remained loyal. That number was in the $1 billion range, but since Rahm only made half of that, who knows what that is now, or how many guys are willing to stay loyal and be left out in the cold wilderness of immense wealth.

It’s obviously more than frustrating/hysterical to see players trying to muster up last ditch efforts to maintain as much control of the sport as possible, while at the same time bickering over how to split the cash at the end of the blood-soaked rainbow. As Succession have we learned anything it’s that the richest person in the room usually wins.

The PIF triumphed when Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour fell away, if not at the moment when Phil Mickelson decided he needed a more lucrative income stream to fuel his gambling addiction. While I’m sure Western golf fans want the PGA Tour to be up front as much as possible, and never talk about the “scary motherfuckers” funding the sport, that’s not what the Saudis paid for.

And after Cantlay’s apparently botched Hail Mary, the PIF is done being reasonable. With a December 31st deadline looming, we’ll see if the deal is completed in the season finale, or if Monahan, on his private jet to meet with LIV chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, midway through the flight deviate.

Cue the theme music.

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