Tiger Woods 'Very Engaged' In PIF Talks As Details Revealed Of Bahamas Meeting

Webb Simpson says Tiger Woods was "very engaged" in the Bahamas meeting with Saudi PIF boss Yasir Al-Rumayyan as he revealed more details of the talks

Tiger Woods speaks at a press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After playing host to the major power brokers in golf in the Bahamas, Tiger Woods was "very engaged" in talks with Saudi Public Investment Fund boss Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

In the latest bid to find a way forward for men's professional golf, Woods and his five fellow player directors on the PGA Tour policy board sat down with Al-Rumayyan along with Jay Monahan and members of Strategic Sports Group.

Talks are said to have been "constructive" according to a memo from Monahan to PGA Tour players, with Sports Illustrated's Bob Harig saying Woods even played golf with Al-Rumayyan at Albany where he hosts his Hero World Challenge event.

And Webb Simpson, one of the six player directors, has praised Woods for being “super engaged along the way" during the entire sage.

"He’s a great leader and I really think he’s taken the position of our leader and we rely on him a lot," Simpson told Sports Illustrated.

Ahead of teeing it up at the Valspar Championship this week, Simpson said that meeting with Al-Rumayyan "was the next right thing to do". 

"I don’t know what exactly it’s going to look like in a year or two or three or five," he added. "It felt like it was the next right thing.”

Simpson says that the friendly meeting was good to get to know Al-Rumayyan and hear his thoughts for the future of golf and how he plans to spend his vast PIF billions in the game.

“What I was interested in going there was to learn more about who he is and what he’s thinking,” Simpson said. “Learn about LIV more. What was your intention and hope there? How’s it going? All that kind of stuff. A meet and greet and learn. 

Webb Simpson at The Players Championship

Webb Simpson says meeting the PIF boss was the right thing to do

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I think he wanted to learn from us kind of what we think. We wanted to figure out what he thinks.”

No specifics were discussed, but Simpson, who says he was glad they held the meeting, says the PIF boss wants to be part of golf's future, which he sees as a global game.

“If definitely seems like he envisions a place in the game of golf. We didn’t get as far as what he wants and what does LIV want. He certainly seems engaged enough in the game already that he has desires to see the game grow globally, I think it’s fair to say. And he mentioned growing it in Saudi to try and do that.

"Glad we had a very friendly meeting. It was never tense. It was a long day but a good day.”

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.