By Rory Carroll

LOS ANGELES, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Tiger Woods said the PGA Tour’s negotiations with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are ongoing but that the Tour is “in a great position” after securing a $3 billion investment last month from a consortium of U.S. sports team owners.

The deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG) allows for co-investment with the Public Investment Fund (PIF), personal loans which controls LIV Golf, but those talks continue to drag on.

“SSG, we have solidified our agreement with them and PIF is still ongoing and we’re still negotiating,” Woods told reporters the day before he makes his first start of the PGA Tour season at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.

“Ultimately, we would like to have PIF be a part of our tour and a part of our product. Financially, we don’t now.

“We’re in a great position and hopefully we can make our product better in the short term and long term.”

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which U.S. lawmakers have criticized for human rights violations, divided the world of golf when it launched LIV Golf in 2022.

Players like American major winners Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson jumped ship for a massive online payday loans no credit check while others including Woods and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy remained loyal to the PGA Tour.

Last June, the PGA Tour, PIF and Europe-based DP World Tour surprisingly announced a framework agreement to house their commercial operations in a for-profit entity called PGA Tour Enterprises and tensions between the players began to cool.

As talks with the PIF failed to reach a quick conclusion, however, outside investor interest in the PGA Tour heated up.

SSG, a consortium led by Fenway Sports Group, will invest an initial $1.5 billion and work to maximize revenue generation for the benefit of players and on finding opportunities to enhance golf around the world.

Woods, a 15-times major winner, said the tour was looking at different models to reunify the sport by welcoming back players who lost their tour cards when they joined LIV Golf.

“Trust me, there’s daily, weekly emails and talks about this and what this looks like for our tour going forward,” he said.

Woods will play alongside Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland in the first two rounds of the Genesis Invitational, his first PGA Tour since last April’s Masters.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Ed Osmond)

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