Spieth, 30, will fill out McIlroy’s term, which expires at the end of 2024. This means he’s poised to play a major role in helping sort out the tour’s direction. The organization is in the midst of negotiations with several potential investors, including the Fenway Sports Group, which could help financially safeguard the tour’s long-term future. It also is still in discussions with the Saudi Public Investment Fund over a proposed partnership that was initially announced in June.
Spieth, a three-time major champion, previously served on the policy board from 2019-21, after spending two years on the tour’s player advisory council.
McIlroy emerged as a leading voice for players in recent years and was among the most vocal critics of LIV Golf, the Saudi-funded rival circuit. He resigned from the board on Nov. 14, one day after the policy board discussed the tour’s future and investor options at its quarterly meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
“I just think I’ve got a lot going on in my life between my golf game, my family and my growing investment portfolio, my involvement in TGL [a new golf league], and I just felt like something had to give,” McIlroy told reporters at the DP World Tour Championship last week in Dubai. “I just didn’t feel like I could commit the time and the energy into doing that.
“I don’t mind being busy,” he continued, “but I just like being busy doing my own stuff. Something had to give, and there’s guys that are on that board that are spending a lot more time and a lot more energy on it than I am. It’s in good hands, and I felt like it was the right time to step off.”
The 12-person policy board is composed of six players and six independent directors.
At its meeting last week, the board “agreed to continue the negotiation process in order to select the final minority investor(s) in a timely manner,” Monahan told players in a memo. The tour is expected to take on investors to partner in the launch of PGA Tour Enterprises, a new for-profit entity that would oversee the commercial-related business of the PGA Tour and potentially LIV Golf. Monahan told players the tour is still in discussions with the PIF about its role in PGA Tour Enterprises, saying that “progress has been deliberate.”
The tour and the Saudis have until the end of the year to reach a final deal, under terms of their initial framework agreement, but that deadline could be pushed back into next year, if the parties agree.