The PGA Tour may be looking to rectify a big misstep: failing to first get player support. But the appointment of Woods means players will hold six of the board seats, outnumbering the five independent directors. Alongside a string of other concessions by Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour’s commissioner, the new arrangement adds another set of hurdles to closing the blockbuster deal.
The players sent a letter to Monahan calling for significant governance changes. They said that the secret negotiations had contravened the tour’s core principle that the tour should be committed to players and run by them. Mr. Monahan and two PGA Tour directors, Piper Sandler’s Jimmy Dunne and Wachtell Lipton’s Ed Herlihy, crafted the agreement without informing most other board members, and many players found out about it only when it became public. Any agreement will now require the players’ approval.
An adviser to the players will also have more say. Colin Neville, of the merchant bank Raine, will be allowed to review documents and the terms of the deal. Mr. Neville previously worked on the Premier Golf League, a Saudi-supported project to compete with Europe’s main professional golf tour. After that effort fizzled, he continued to informally advise PGA Tour players.
Will the concessions be enough? What Mr. Woods, one of the richest and best known players in the world, wants out of a final agreement could differ from what other tour professionals want. (Recall Michael Jordan’s friction with other players during the 2011 N.B.A. lockout.)
And separate obstacles, including regulatory scrutiny and criticism from LIV players, like Phil Mickelson, remain. The deal itself is just a framework, and one of its few binding provisions — a promise not to poach each other’s players — was scrapped last month.