'I Think It's In Pretty Good Hands' - Jack Nicklaus Confident Of Breakthrough In PGA Tour/PIF Talks

The 18-time Major winner doesn't see a cause for concern over the apparent stalemate between the PGA Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund

Jack Nicklaus at the Insperity Invitational
Jack Nicklaus doesn't see a big issue in the current stalemate behind the PGA Tour and PIF
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jack Nicklaus doesn’t see a reason to be concerned about the current stalemate between the PGA Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund behind LIV Golf and thinks the issue is “in pretty good hands.”

The 18-time Major winner is hosting the latest signature event on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament. He spoke to the press before the Muirfield Village event, where he touched on the apparent lack of progress in negotiations between the PGA Tour and its big-money rival.

He began by saying: “I've tried to stay out of what's going on with the Tour and LIV,” before allowing himself to open up on the subject a little more. First, he revealed he’d sought reassurances from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan that discussions were still moving on – despite the anniversary of the news talks had opened coming later in the week.

He said: “I think that's in pretty good hands and I think that - a couple months ago I called Jay about it. I said, ‘Jay, I'm worried a little bit about what's going on.' I said, ‘Are you doing alright or are you not?” And he said, 'We're doing fine.’ I said, 'That's all I need to know.’ So as far as I know, the Tour's doing fine and their problems are going to get worked out. How it is, I don't know.”

Jay Monahan is driven in a golf cart by Jack Nicklaus at the 2020 Memorial Tournament

Nicklaus revealed he had spoken to Jay Monahan about the impasse

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nicklaus also isn’t convinced the game has to come back together at all, although he admitted it would be for the best. He said: “You can look at it two ways. One is that we'll have a very successful tournament here and a lot of PGA Tour tournaments will have very successful tournaments and have great fields and great players.

“I think the LIV tournaments have had - you know, have some good players, and they have - and they compete at the Major championships. You know, I don't know whether that's imperative that that happen. I think it would be better if they all played together more often. I do think that.”

Another topic of conversation over recent months has been falling TV ratings, which players from both sides of the divide, including Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, have highlighted as concerns.

However, recent tournaments, including McIlroy’s win at the Wells Fargo Championship, and the PGA Championship saw an uptick, and Nicklaus seemed satisfied things are moving in the right direction.

 “Well, I think TV ratings have been pretty good lately, haven't they?” he asked. “The last three months TV ratings have gone up, they've been up pretty good, from the report that I got.

He added: “I think that there are a lot smarter people and a lot better people that are better versed on what's going on than I as it relates to the problems of the game of golf.

“I think that it's in good hands and I trust them to solve those problems because I love the game of golf, I love to see the game of golf flourish and grow as we've all seen it grow for a long time.”

Nicklaus also thinks the continued presence on the PGA Tour Policy Board of the man directly beneath him on the list of most Major wins, Tiger Woods, can only be a good thing as the elite game continues to work through its problems.

Tiger Woods takes a shot during the opening round of the PGA Championship

Nicklaus sees Tiger Woods as a valuable member of the PGA Tour Policy Board

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Tiger had a lot of experience, he's been around long enough, he's not going to play a whole lot more,” he said. “He can still contribute. I think it's great that he wants to contribute and be part of it. I think it's great that the guys want him to contribute. So I'm delighted to see him on the board. He'll make a great contribution.”

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.