Sports and entertainment powerhouse Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, Professional Bull Riders, and the IMG and WME agencies, was reportedly in serious discussions about investing a staggering $1 billion in LIV Golf.
The upstart golf property had approached Endeavor through its prominent players Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson, seeking financial support. This potential investment would have replaced LIV Golf's current backing from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which began in 2021.
However, according to CEO Ari Emanuel, Endeavor ultimately decided against the deal, largely due to the influence of PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. The PGA Tour and LIV Golf have been locked in competitive and legal disputes, leading the PGA Tour to discourage Endeavor's involvement. Emanuel revealed that the PGA Tour requested, "Please don't do it." Respecting his friendship and business ties with Monahan, Emanuel opted to respect the PGA Tour's wishes and step back.
Emanuel emphasized that he conveyed to Monahan the need for the PGA Tour to address the challenge posed by LIV Golf. In response, the PGA Tour has taken measures such as increasing tournament purses and making adjustments to the schedule. Praising Monahan's efforts, Emanuel acknowledged, "To his credit, I think Jay did an incredible job."
Regarding LIV Golf's backing from Saudi Arabia, a country frequently criticized for its human rights record, Emanuel clarified that he held no moral position on the matter. The decision to withdraw from the investment was primarily driven by the influence of the PGA Tour.