This PGA Tour-LIV drama isn’t far off from Succession


In the world of golf, the past week has been filled with scandal, intrigue, and power struggles. It’s a story that seems straight out of a television drama, with failed coups, back alley dealings, and an all-consuming power broker. All that’s missing is the involvement of Jesse Armstrong, the creator of HBO’s hit show “Succession.”

At the center of the chaos is Patrick Cantlay, a professional golfer who, according to Jordan Spieth, has been trying to hijack negotiations. Cantlay’s influence stems from his position on the PGA Tour’s policy board, which has the final say on deals with investors, including the Saudi Public Investment Fund. Tiger Woods and Spieth are also members of the board, leading to speculation that they may be involved in the power play as well. However, Spieth has refuted these claims.

Cantlay’s alleged attempts to gain leverage in the negotiations by courting private equity firms did not go unnoticed by the Saudis. In response, they reportedly signed Jon Rahm for a staggering half a billion dollars. There are also rumors of talks with other players, such as Tony Finau.

This is not the first time Cantlay has found himself in the midst of controversy. At this year’s Ryder Cup, he sparked drama over hats and money, which resulted in Rory McIlroy confronting Cantlay’s caddie in a parking lot. McIlroy’s resignation from the PGA Tour’s board was also influenced by his strained relationship with Cantlay.

One of the sticking points in the negotiations is the pool of money set aside for PGA Tour golfers who had offers from the Saudi-backed league but chose to remain loyal. Initially estimated to be around $1 billion, it is unclear how Rahm’s massive signing bonus will affect this figure and how many players will choose loyalty over immense wealth.

The situation is both frustrating and amusing to witness, as players scramble to maintain control over the sport while also debating how to divide the spoils. As fans of the TV show “Succession” know, the wealthiest person in the room usually comes out on top.

In the end, the Saudi Public Investment Fund prevailed, with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and the board ultimately caving to their demands. It seems that Western golf fans would prefer not to acknowledge the influence of the deep-pocketed Saudi investors, but that’s the price they paid.

With a December 31 deadline looming, the question remains whether the deal will be finalized in the season finale or if Monahan, on his way to meet with LIV chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, will meet an untimely fate mid-flight.

It’s a dramatic storyline that wouldn’t be out of place in a television series, complete with its own theme music. The world of golf has certainly provided plenty of entertainment this week, and fans can only wait and see what twists and turns lie ahead.

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