mcilroy chats with spieth after spieths pif comments group text departure

McIlroy chats with Spieth after Spieth’s PIF comments, group-text departure

mcilroy chats with spieth after spieths pif comments group text departure

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth had an hour-long phone conversation prior to the start of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to discuss Spieth’s recent comments on a potential deal between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

According to an exclusive report by Sports Illustrated’s Alex Miceli, both Spieth and McIlroy confirmed the chat, with McIlroy calling it a “pretty frank discussion.”

The call was prompted by Spieth’s remarks during his press conference Wednesday at Pebble in which Spieth seemed to express that on the heels of the Tour’s $3 billion partnership with Strategic Sports Group, a Tour-PIF deal would be a positive but was no longer necessary.

“I just think it’s something that is almost not even worth talking about right this second given how timely everything would be to try to get it figured out,” Spieth said to a room of reporters. “But the idea is that we have a strategic partner that allows the PGA Tour to go forward the way that it’s operating right now without anything else with the option of other investors.”

At some point after those quotes went public, McIlroy removed himself from a “top player group text,” per SI. McIlroy explained that he just wanted to detach himself from the “fray,” but Spieth noticed and reached out to McIlroy to clear the air.

Spieth, a current player director on the Tour’s policy board, later clarified that he wasn’t opposed to a PIF deal, but he wanted the terms to make sense for everyone. McIlroy, a former board member, told SI that not accepting PIF money was not an option, and that he was mainly concerned that Spieth’s comments would upset those of the PIF side.

“My thing was if I’m the original [potential] investor that thought that they were going to get this deal done back in July, and I’m hearing a board member say that, you know, we don’t really need them, now, how are they going to think about that, what are they gonna feel about that?” McIlroy told SI. “They are still sitting out there with hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, that they’re gonna pour it into sport. And I know what Jordan was saying, I absolutely know what he was saying and what he was trying to say. But if I were PIF and I was hearing that coming from here, the day after doing this SSG deal, it wouldn’t have made me too happy, I guess?”

To read SI’s full story and more of McIlroy’s comments, click here.

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