Tiger Woods is already making an impact on the PGA Tour policy board in just two weeks as it considers the PGA-LIV deal, board member Rory McIlroy said Wednesday.
The 15-time major champion was added to an expanded policy board, the tour announced Aug. 8, a day after 41 players requested the move in a letter to PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.
The move was to add transparency and ease tensions among players unhappy with the secrecy surrounding the LIV-PGA merger framework, which was revealed in June by Monahan and Yasir al-Rumayyan, the head of LIV’s backers, Saudi Arabia‘s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
As a result of Woods becoming the sixth player on the policy board, the players are the majority of the panel that must approve the PGA’s framework agreement with the PIF before the end of the year to be approved.
“Tiger is on the board, it makes sense that he’s on it, that he’s engaged,” McIlroy said. “He’s definitely put more time into it than I have.
“He’s talked to a lot of people. He’s really committed to just trying to get the best result for the players on the PGA Tour.
“I think his difference has already been felt. I think it’s only going to continue to grow as we move toward that December 31st deadline.”
The deal would create a for-profit entity involving the upstart LIV Golf League, the PGA and the DP World Tour.
Details of the plans under discussion have not been disclosed, although Monahan said Tuesday he was confident a deal would be reached by the end of the year as required by the tentative pact.
Among the issues to be decided is the fate of LIV and how players who jumped ship for record-breaking prize money and guaranteed deals might be able to return to the PGA Tour if they so choose.
McIlroy said not all players on the board will have to vote to approve the final deal.
“I don’t think all the player directors have to be unanimous,” he said. “I don’t think it has to be a unanimous vote. It just has to be a majority.”
McIlroy said the role of dealing with LIV issues had an impact on his golf performance, but he stepped back from such a hands-on role in April and has finished in the top 10 in his past nine events, winning the Scottish Open and finishing second at US Open.
“Last year I was probably encouraged by everything that was going on in the golf world. I felt like maybe we were a little bit more in a state of flux,” McIlroy said. “I feel that everything is a little more clarified.
“The things that are going on right now, I’m on the board, and I have to be involved, and every time something comes on the table, I’m going to vote yes or no on it. But maybe just not as emotionally involved.”
– Harman OK with Koepka –
PGA Championship winner Brooks Kopeka of LIV Golf was bumped out of an automatic qualifying spot on the US Ryder Cup team that will defend the trophy against Europe next month in Italy.
British Open champion Brian Harman says Koepka would be a worthy player but will leave the choices to US captain Zach Johnson, who will announce his six picks on Tuesday.
“Brooks, he’s right there. I think he’d be a pretty good addition to the team,” Harman said.
“I’m not entirely familiar with his record in Ryder Cups, but the experience would certainly help, especially considering there’s probably going to be a fair amount of rookies over there.
“Whoever Zach thinks can help us win the Ryder Cup, I think should be on the team.”
The European team will not be able to have LIV players on the team under DP World Tour rules, but McIlroy saw no problem with that.
“No, I don’t think it would make a difference to us,” McIlroy said.