'I Don't Think It Is A Merger' - PGA Of America Boss On PGA Tour-PIF Deal

PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh does not think the "handshake" between the PGA Tour and Saudi PIF is a merger deal

PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh insists the big huge deal that shocked golf is between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) and “not our news story”, while adding that he did not think the move was a merger.

Waugh has been questioned a few times about the move by Jay Monahan to join forces with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, but insists the PGA of America have no part in the deal or how it will eventually work out.

He did, though, point out that he did not characterise the deal as a merger, even though nobody really knows what it will actually look like in the future.

“Look, this is not our news story, right, it's others',” said Waugh at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

“This is the PGA Tour and not PGA of America. Sadly, we've been - our brand has been dragged into it because people don't totally understand the difference between the two of us.

“I don't think it is a merger. I think that's a misunderstanding of what this handshake is. We're still waiting for lots of details on what it ultimately looks like.”

Waugh has previously had his say on what he called LIV Golf's flawed business model which he insisted was unsustainable, with the PIF spending so much to set it up but getting relatively little in return.

The future of LIV Golf is one of several big talking points of the deal, with Greg Norman reportedly saying it's business as usual but Rory McIlroy fully expects it go to away after the deal is completed.

Waugh is sticking to his assessment of LIV Golf as people wait and see just what will happen with the team golf organisation once the full PGA Tour-PIF deal is worked out.

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf flags

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I do think that peace is better than war for the whole game because I think you were getting unnatural acts,” Waugh added. 

“And I've been pretty vocal about saying that I didn't think it was a sustainable business model, and that's speaking as a pure sort of business person.

“In some ways, I'm hopeful, but obviously it's created an enormous amount of conversation and angst and confusion, and we're a bit a part of that confusion, as well, and trying to sort through it all.

“I don't think there's any direct effect on us specific to this. Certainly the war had some implications of competing against a business model that wasn't a business model, and we have to do that, too, and we'll see how it all plays out.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.