'I Trust The Board To Do The Best Deal They Can' - Harrington On PGA Tour PIF Merger

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Harrington remains confident that the PGA Tour will do the right thing

Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington is confident that the future of the men's professional game will be brighter than many are predicting after the recent deal between the PIF and the PGA and DP World Tours. 

With all the uncertainty hanging in the air at the moment, the 51-year-old is behind the PGA Tour to get things right and, whether it is the Ryder Cup, future of LIV Golf or the players' compensation, the three-time Major winner believes that things will work themselves out.

"All I know is that it would be very normal for a board to do a deal and not tell its shareholders what the deal is when they are negotiating," he told the Irish Independent.

Harrington waves to the crowd after holing a putt

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“It would be extremely normal for a board to be in the middle of negotiations without telling the detail out publicly to their shareholders or any shareholder because that would be illegal. In the world of business they couldn't be giving the shareholders the information if any of the shareholders acted on that information.

"So they don't. Boards do deals. We hire a board to do a deal. And I fully believe that Jay and the board, they're acting in our best interest. I have confidence in the board. Until I don't have confidence in the board, I do have confidence in the board.”

With very little information forthcoming from the PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, Harrington is happy to wait for the details to come out and to put his faith in the men at the top of the game.

“Unfortunately everybody wants it (the PIF deal) to be something else but we live in a free market and the big gorilla is entitled to come in and that's what the free market is. We can't stop them from doing that. I trust the board to do the best deal they can in the circumstances that they're under. And I'm sure those circumstances are unknown to us at the moment. And I'm sure they have their reasons.”

Padraig Harrington waves in front of the Ryder Cup logo

Harrington has previously stated that LIV Golf players should be allowed to play for Team Europe in the Ryder Cup 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As for LIV Golf, there are plenty of noises coming from their players that the 2024 schedule is being put into place and that it might well blossom into something a lot bigger and a lot more acceptable in more people's eyes in the years to come.

“At the start, everybody thought this would go away,” Harrington explained. “That's the problem. Everybody, even today, judges on what they see today. What's LIV going to be like in 20 years' time? I have no idea (if it will disappear). I am just saying you mightn't like what you see on TV now.

"But in 20 years' time, who knows what it's going be like. It's very similar to the Indian Premier League. It's just so similar to that and look how big that is now. Anybody who went there at the start was ostracised and now it's normal course of business.”

In terms of how players like Rory McIlroy might be compensated, Harrington had what seems like an interesting idea: “Do you only give people who got contracts? Rory has already said he didn't get a contract. So he gets nothing and somebody else gets something? The easiest thing is put it in a pool and as we all do, and play for it. That looks like what's going to happen."

Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.