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Architect of PGA-LIV framework agreement resigns in frustration: ‘No meaningful progress’ toward a deal

May 14th, 2024

PGA Tour board member Jimmy Dunne at the July 2023 Senate hearing on the proposed PGA Tour-LIV Golf partnership. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jimmy Dunne, the man at the center of last summer’s surprise framework agreement between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, has resigned from the PGA Tour’s policy board, according to Sports Illustrated.

According to a letter obtained by SI, Dunne wrote that “no meaningful progress has been made towards a transaction with PIF” and that players who have seized control of the board mean that “my vote and my role is utterly superfluous.”

Last June, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who oversees the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) that backs LIV Golf, stunned the entire golf world — players included — when they announced a framework agreement was in the works to bring the two competing tours back together. Dunne was one of the few people on the PGA Tour side in the middle of those negotiations.

Dunne, the managing principal at Piper Sandler who has emerged as a major player in the golf world, recognized early on the threat LIV Golf posed to the PGA Tour. LIV had the financial backing (via the PIF) to continue poaching players away from the Tour, particularly with the Tour engaged in lawsuits that were, in Dunne’s words, “burdensome litigation that was expensive, unwelcome, and uncertain.”

When he joined the Tour’s policy board at the end of 2022, he sought to end the litigation and bring unity to the game. But progress has been non-existent, which apparently was too much for Dunne.

“Unifying professional golf is paramount to restoring fan interest and repairing wounds left from a fractured game,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “I have tried my best to move all minds in that direction.”

Dunne indicated that the newly empowered players, who include Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth, have shifted the balance of power within the PGA Tour. The players had sought more power after the surprise news of the framework agreement broke, and now that they have it, negotiations appear to be in neutral.

Dunne’s declaration throws even more uncertainty into the state of golf today. At the moment, the four majors are the only tournaments where players from both the PGA Tour and LIV come together in competition. Any hope of an agreement between the two organizations seems far in the future, if it happens at all.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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