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With the dust still settling on the news that the PGA Tour has agreed a deal with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) that bankrolls LIV Golf, intrigue over how the two organisations ended up round a table has heightened.
According to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, two of the figures at his side during negotiations where policy board member Jimmy Dunne and its chairman Ed Herlihy. Meanwhile, on the PIF side, governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan appears to have been the main point of contact for the PGA Tour team.
However, according to a report in the Daily Mail, another crucial figure that helped bring the two formerly warring parties to the table is ally of the PIF, English business executive Amanda Staveley.
Staveley was apparently brought in as a peace broker by the Saudis in recent months and travelled to Augusta National for the Masters in April, with progress accelerating in the weeks leading up to the deal being announced.
She has prior experience in a similar role, too, having been pivotal in getting the takeover of English soccer club Newcastle United over the line in 2021. She now serves as a director at the club, while it is chaired by Al-Rumayyan.
Monahan confirmed the involvement of Dunne and Herilhy when speaking to the media outlining the details of the deal, saying: “There were two prominent Policy Board members that sat side by side with me, our chairman Ed Herlihy as well as Jimmy Dunne, and ultimately we got to the point where we finalized everything.”
Monahan also said: “There's been a lot of outreach through people and through intermediaries.” Whether Staveley was one of the those he we was referring to is not clear. However, while the likes of Monahan, Dunne and Herilhy look to have been the key players who thrashed out a deal with Al-Rumayyan, it is reportedly Staveley they have to thank for bringing them together in the first place.
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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.
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