Jimmy Dunne outlines plan for PGA Tour loyalists, LIV players who want back

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Mark SchlabachESPN Senior WriterJun 9, 2023, 06:50 PM ET5 Minute Read

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Golfers who remained loyal to the PGA Tour — but not those who left for the LIV Golf League — would receive equity shares in the new for-profit enterprise being formed by the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Jimmy Dunne told ESPN on Friday.

Dunne, the PGA Tour policy board member who helped broker this week’s stunning deal, said current tour members would receive equity in the new company based on a yet-to-be-determined formula. Several of the tour’s top stars, including Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm and Cameron Young, reportedly turned down guaranteed contracts worth as much as $100 million from LIV Golf League officials.

“The new [company] would grow, and the [current PGA Tour] players would get a piece of equity that would enhance and increase in value as time went on,” Dunne said. “There would have to be some kind of formulaic decision on how to do that. It would be a process to determine what would be a fair mechanism that would be really beneficial to our players.”

The players who left for the LIV Golf League, according to Dunne, would not be able to participate in the new company’s equity plan.

Dunne, the vice chair and senior managing principal of the investment bank Piper Sandler, helped lay the groundwork for the PGA Tour’s alliance with the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is financing the rival LIV Golf League. A member of Augusta National Golf Club and president of Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, Dunne will serve on the new company’s board.

The PGA Tour’s surprising decision to do business with PIF has left many of its current members questioning why they were encouraged not to accept money from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to join LIV and instead remain loyal to the PGA Tour.

“Obviously, for the guys that did turn down significant amounts of money, then that’s probably a tough one to swallow, and I feel for them,” reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick said Thursday.

Bryson DeChambeau, who reportedly was paid more than $125 million to defect to LIV Golf, told CNN on Tuesday that he felt sorry for PGA Tour members who didn’t take the money.

“The players that did go over, we did take a risk, and there was a reason for taking that risk relative to the capital that had to be paid out for that to occur,” DeChambeau said. “I do feel bad for the PGA Tour players because they were told one thing and something else happened. On our side, we were told one thing and it’s come to fruition.”

Dunne said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan would also have oversight of the LIV Golf League under the new agreement, giving him the authority to determine whether the breakaway circuit will continue beyond this season. Monahan will serve as CEO of the new,…

Read More: Jimmy Dunne outlines plan for PGA Tour loyalists, LIV players who want back 2023-06-09 22:50:00

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