‘You Guys Have Got To Stop Saying That’ - Jordan Spieth Dismisses ‘False Narratives’ Over Player Power

Jordan Spieth says he chuckles when he reads "false narratives" of players having too much say in the PGA Tour talks with the PIF - and insists they're in a "really, really good place"

Jordan Spieth takes a shot at The Players Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In defence of the golfers on the PGA Tour Policy Board, Jordan Spieth says reports of players leading the negotiations with the Saudi PIF and steering the direction of the sport are "false narratives".

He also says that "things are actually in a really, really good place" with regards the PIF talks despite what it may look like from the outside.

Spieth has rejected claims that players may now have too much power, or at least are having too much of an influence on PGA Tour matters as they continue the drawn-out talks with the PIF.

"It's just balanced. It's not player driven," Spieth insisted ahead of the PGA Championship. "So we got, you guys [media] have got to stop saying that."

Spieth insisted that the player representation on the various boards and committees strikes the correct balance in line with other companies.

"It's balanced in a way that at least from what I've heard the investors, Tour management, and independents feel it should be," said Spieth. 

"I think we're in a place where that's the case - we're being told that this is how it should be as well.

"It went from a lot less players to a balanced board. It seems like we've been told that's a really good idea on a what was told to be a player-run organization, to have a balanced board with independents that are essentially making the decisions that we are not qualified to make, but us offering insights on how the membership would feel and whether it's eligibility matters or whatever is left."

The three-time Major champion added "there's a lot of committees" talking over a range of topics, including the now infamous transaction committee which is dealing with the PIF talks, that Spieth was keen to stress are not negotiations. 

"I don't even like to call it negotiating, like doing the talking and the figuring out, you know, what a lot of the future product model looks like, having those conversations with the Public Investment Fund."

And although he admitted Jimmy Dunne resigning was a blow, Spieth also painted a much more hopeful picture of the current state of things, despite from the outside many seeing the PGA Tour as in a bit of a mess.

"I think things are, unfortunately, put in a really bad light right now, and I think things are actually in a really, really good place, based on what I know, which is quite a lot in this situation," Spieth insisted.

"I think things are moving forward at a speed that both sides are probably frustrated at each other on different times when they're trying to get a hold of each other. 

"I mean, there's a lot of other things going on as well, but in general everyone on our side, I believe, are rowing the boat the right direction together, the same direction together, and I believe we're going to end up in a really good place and I'm, I just continue to kind of chuckle, because I only feel positive momentum when we're actually having these internal conversations, and then every time anything comes from the outside world it's the opposite, and it just kind of makes me chuckle a bit because it's a bit frustrating.

"So I hope our fans and the fans of golf are aware that, you know, people are trying to do the right thing and the same thing together, it just, it's going to take a little bit of time to figure out exactly what that looks like."

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.