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Jay Monahan insists PGA Tour has a 'shared vision' with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan insists he is the right person to lead negotiations with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund amid a "shared vision to quiet the noise and unlock golf's worldwide potential".

Monahan declined to discuss any specifics of a possible deal but did reveal that he and members of the Tour's policy board met with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan in Saudi Arabia in January.

He also acknowledged that failure to come to an agreement with the PIF, who bankroll LIV Golf, would leave men's professional golf stuck in the "same posture we are now" and that fans are "tired of conflict" and the focus on enormous sums of money.

PGA Tour players will benefit from equity of more than £1.1billion after the US-based circuit secured an investment deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG).

The deal also allows for a future "co-investment" from the PIF, although Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth have both suggested that may no longer be necessary.

Speaking at his annual press conference ahead of the Players Championship, Monahan said: "I recently met with the governor of the PIF, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and our negotiations are accelerating as we spend time together.

"While we have several key issues that we still need to work through, we have a shared vision to quiet the noise and unlock golf's worldwide potential.

"It's going to take time, but I reiterate what I said at the Tour Championship in August. I see a positive outcome for the PGA Tour and the sport as a whole.

"I do believe that negotiating a deal with PIF is the best outcome. Obviously it has to be the right deal for both sides, like any situation or negotiation."

Monahan conceded that any deal would not be able to satisfy every one of the Tour’s more than 200 members, with Rory McIlroy recently advocating a more "cut-throat" circuit with fewer players holding Tour cards.

"I think when you're in a negotiation like this and you're in a time like this, it requires open-mindedness, it requires flexibility and it requires a long-term view and a long-term vision,'' Monahan added.

"But, however we end up, I think that we're not going to be able to satisfy everyone and that goes for both sides.

"But what we're trying to do is to get to the best possible outcome again for the Tour and for the game and I do think that that's achievable."

Monahan admitted he would be seen as a hypocrite after the bombshell announcement of a framework agreement between the PGA Tour and the PIF in June last year, which opened the door for Masters champion Jon Rahm to later join LIV Golf.

Asked on Tuesday if any of the Tour's six player directors had called on him to resign and whether he had their full support, Monahan said: "There's been a lot of good spirited debate amongst our board. But we are a unified front.

"I'm honoured to serve as commissioner and now be a member of the PGA Tour policy board and also honoured to be CEO of PGA Tour Enterprises

"I can't generalise as it relates to (all) players, but clearly given the responsibility I've been given by both boards, I have the support of our board and I am the right person to lead us forward.

"I know that. I believe that in my heart and I'm determined to do exactly that."

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