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BREAKING NEWSPGA Tour and LIV Golf ‘set to meet in New York TOMORROW with Tiger Woods attending… but Rory McIlroy WON’T be there’

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PGA Tour and LIV Golf representatives, including Tiger Woods, are set to meet in-person in New York on Friday as they bid to strike a deal to end the game’s power struggle.

Thursday marks a year to the day that the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV announced they would try and merge in news that shook the sport to its core.

Progress since then has been slow but according to The New York Times, key figures from both sides are now set to meet in New York on Friday. The report says that ‘both sides caution that a breakthrough is far from imminent.’

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Woods is expected to be joined by John Henry, the Liverpool FC and Boston Red Sox owner who is on the PGA Tour’s transaction committee.

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The Times says Rory McIlroy, one of LIV’s most vociferous critics before the merger news came out, will be joining the call remotely as he is playing in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield. McIlroy tees off for his second round at 9:55am local time.

Woods, a member of the PGA Tour policy board, recently hosted a meeting with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan – the governor of PIF, which funds LIV, in the Bahamas.

Adam Scott, another PGA Tour player director, said earlier this week that talks between the PGA and LIV would advance soon.

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‘I think the PGA Tour has a vision of what it wants to look like 12, 18 (months) and then going forward, five, 10 and 20, you know, or at least 10 years down the line, let’s say, and what it should evolve into,’ he said to Golfweek.

‘But at the moment there’s another party that they’re negotiating with that has to believe in that vision as well, and I don’t know exactly what their vision is.

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‘I think we are getting there, for sure. Eventually someone is going to have to put it out exactly what it is, and I think that will happen very soon. You have to break the ice, kind of, and someone has to show a hand. It’s got to happen soon. It’s moving along as quickly as it can.’

Last month, McIlroy admitted he is ‘concerned’ that the merger talks are heading for the rocks.

The world No 2 has transformed into a strong advocate for Saudi investment as a means of ending the hostilities with LIV.

But following the resignation from the Tour’s policy board of Jimmy Dunne, the investment banker who had orchestrated last year’s framework agreement between the warring parties, McIlroy’s hopes of seeing a unified game seem to have plummeted.

Dunne chose to stand down because ‘no meaningful progress’ had been made despite almost a year of negotiations, while also inferring that too much power had been placed in the hands of a select group of player directors, including Woods, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay.

Speaking ahead of the US PGA Championship, McIlroy said: ‘Honestly I think it’s a huge loss for the PGA Tour (that Dunne is leaving the process), if they are trying to get this deal done with the PIF.

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‘Jimmy was basically “the” relationship, the sort of conduit between the Tour and PIF. It’s been really unfortunate that he has not been involved for the last few months, and I think part of the reason that everything is stalling at the minute is because of that.

‘So it is really, really disappointing, and you know, I think the Tour is in a worse place because of it. We’ll see where it goes from here and we’ll see what happens.

‘But you know, I would say my confidence level on something getting done before last week was as low as it had been and then with this news of Jimmy resigning and knowing the relationship he has with the other side, and how much warmth there is from the other side, it’s concerning.’

 

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