Golf

Another PGA Tour board member resigns as negotiations with LIV Golf, PIF continue

Another PGA Tour board member resigns as negotiations with LIV Golf, PIF continue

Another member of the PGA Tour’s policy board stepped down on Sunday night, marking the second to do so in less than a week.

Mark Flaherty officially resigned from the Tour’s board of directors on Sunday after more than four years in the role. His resignation came just days after Jimmy Dunne — who helped negotiate the framework deal for a partnership between the Tour and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and LIV Golf last year — did the same.

The resignation came just hours after Xander Schauffele won the PGA Championship, which is run by the PGA of America.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Policy Board for the past 4 1⁄2 years," Flaherty wrote in his resignation letter. "Golf has always been a significant part of my life. Being able to blend my passion for the sport with the intricate workings and growth of the PGA Tour has been a truly rewarding experience."

Flaherty, who is a former vice chairman of Wellington Management, was one of five independent directors on the Tour’s policy board. There are now just three remaining.

While Flaherty didn’t get into specifics, Dunne specifically cited the lack of progress between the Tour and LIV Golf in his resignation last week. There has been “no meaningful progress” in such a deal, he wrote, and that “my vote and my role is utterly superfluous” now that players have seized control of it. The deal between the Tour and the PIF was supposed to be done by Dec. 31, though that still has not happened. It’s unclear if such an agreement will be finalized at all, or what that would look like.

"Unifying professional golf is paramount to restoring fan interest and repairing wounds left from a fractured game," Dunne wrote in his resignation letter. "I have tried my best to move all minds in that direction.”

Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth are the six players who are on the policy board. Rory McIlroy was going to take Simpson’s spot earlier this month, but he reversed course after pushback from other members. McIlroy had resigned his board seat initially last year.

“Honestly, I think it’s a huge loss for the PGA Tour, if they are trying to get this deal done with the PIF and trying to unify the game,” McIlroy said of Dunne’s resignation before the PGA Championship. “Jimmy was basically ‘the’ relationship, the sort of conduit between the PGA Tour and PIF. … It’s really, really disappointing and you know, I think the Tour is in a worse place because of it.”

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