Jordan Spieth says PGA Tour players are ready to meet with Saudis

Jordan Spieth has confirmed player directors of the PGA Tour are close to sitting down with the governor of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund in a bid to break the deadlock which continues to seriously impact elite golf.

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf – which is funded by the PIF – remain on different paths. This week’s Players Championship, the PGA Tour’s flagship event, is taking place without high-profile LIV converts such as Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith. Earlier this week, the PGA Tour’s commissioner, Jay Monahan, insisted talks between his organisation and the PIF were “accelerating” with a view to reuniting a fractured sport.

Now, it has emerged Spieth and his fellow directors could have an audience with Yasir al-Rumayyan within days. The PIF’s governor has never previously addressed PGA Tour players.

“We are being encouraged to potentially meet with them at some point, yeah,” said Spieth. “I’m not sure that I can say much more other than we’re being encouraged to potentially meet with them.

“But at the same time, we probably feel like our membership should know timing and what could happen. There’s not a whole lot more I can say about that but we are being encouraged, obviously, which I think is probably a good thing; that the entire board should if there’s going to be any potential for a negotiation.”

Spieth was speaking after missing the cut at Sawgrass. The Texan shrugged off Thursday’s rules farrago also involving Rory McIlroy. Spieth and Viktor Hovland appeared to question whether McIlroy took a correct drop on their 16th hole of the first round.

“I thought it ended up in a good spot,” Spieth said. “I only walked over there because I thought he had dropped it and then he was questioning where he was dropping it. So I was just trying to make sure he didn’t play it and everyone was good. I was good with the spot he was choosing.

“I get it’s me and Rory, but that kind of conversation probably happened a dozen times yesterday in groups. Viktor was having the conversation and I only walked over because it seemed like, hey, let’s just make sure everything is all right, which I wasn’t even planning on getting involved and maybe shouldn’t have, but it seemed like they were maybe at a sticking point. So I thought maybe I could help.”

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McIlroy’s hectic 73 on Friday included just seven pars. McIlroy double bogeyed the 14th. He will start the day three sitting eight adrift of Wyndham Clark, whose second 65 in a row took him to 14 under par. Matt Fitzpatrick is on minus nine after a 69.

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