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Memo: No agreement between PGA Tour-PIF; signature-event changes for Tiger Woods, field size

CROMWELL, Conn. – Negotiations continue with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund but an agreement between the PIF and the PGA Tour is still elusive, according to a memo sent to players late Tuesday.

The Tour’s policy board met Tuesday at the Travelers Championship and despite speculation that a deal with the PIF was imminent, there were no signs of a breakthrough.

“We are making progress,” the memo to players read. “Two weeks ago, members of our PGA Tour Enterprises transaction subcommittee met in New York with [PIF governor] Yasir Al-Rumayyan. During that meeting, we reached consensus on several items, but both parties recognize that there is still work to do to reach a final agreement.

“Our talks are ongoing, with the goal of developing a shared vision for the future of professional golf that is pro-competitive and provides players with the best global opportunities.”

The board did, however, approve a number of new initiatives including a special exemption into signature events for Tiger Woods.

“An additional sponsor exemption will be created to recognize Tiger Woods in his own category as a player who has reached an exceptional lifetime achievement threshold of 80 [plus] career wins,” the memo read.

Woods played the Genesis Invitational, which he hosts, on a sponsor exemption this year but the new category creates an exemption into every signature event if he chooses to play.

The board also approved a proposal that would create an alternate list for signature events to assure a 72-player field size. “The alternate list will be created from the next available players in order from the Aon Next 10 List following the commitment deadline on Monday of tournament week,” the memo read.