R&A boss Slumbers not ruling out Saudi funding

HOYLAKE, England — With the purse for The Open greater than doubling over the previous decade, R&A CEO Martin Slumbers on Wednesday would not rule out taking cash from Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding to assist fund escalating prices.

Talking to reporters at a information convention forward of this week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership, Slumbers mentioned the R&A wasn’t fascinated about having a presenting sponsor for The Open however will proceed to speak to numerous potential sponsors.

“We’ve a lot of giant company companions that assist us make this factor occur,” Slumbers mentioned. “I feel the world has modified within the final 12 months. It is not simply golf. You are seeing it in soccer. You are seeing it in F1. You are seeing it in cricket. I am certain tennis will not be that far behind.”

On June 6, the PGA Tour introduced that it was forming an alliance with the DP World Tour and the Public Funding Fund, which has spent greater than $2 billion financing the LIV Golf League over the previous two seasons. At a Senate subcommittee listening to final week, PGA Tour chief working officer Ron Value testified that the PIF was ready to speculate greater than $1 billion into a brand new for-profit entity that can be managed by the PGA Tour.

The Telegraph of London reported Tuesday that Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, will attend The Open this week as a visitor of one of many event’s largest sponsors.

In 2021, the PIF bought 80% of the Premier League membership Newcastle United. The Saudi oil and gasoline firm Aramco is a world sponsor of F1 racing, the LPGA Tour, the Dubai-based Worldwide Cricket Council and the Indian Premier League. Final month, ATP Tour chair Andrea Gaudenzi mentioned he had “optimistic” discussions with PIF officers a couple of potential funding in males’s tennis.

“The world of sport has modified dramatically within the final 12 months, and it’s not possible for the R&A or golf to simply ignore what’s a societal change on a world foundation,” Slumbers mentioned. “We can be contemplating inside all of the parameters that we take a look at all of the choices that now we have.”

The purse for the Open Championship has greater than doubled since 2013, when it was $8 million and Phil Mickelson took house $1.44 million for successful at Muirfield Golf Hyperlinks in Scotland.

This 12 months, the R&A will distribute a document $16.5 million in prize cash, with the winner receiving $3 million. Final 12 months, Cameron Smith collected $2.5 million for capturing the a hundred and fiftieth Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland.

“Vital will increase in prize cash within the males’s skilled sport has resulted within the long-term reassessment of the enterprise mannequin for skilled golf,” Slumbers mentioned. “As custodians of the sport, now we have to steadiness the prize fund at The Open with making certain the suitable funding in grass-roots and new golf initiatives, making certain pathways are in place from elite novice golf to the skilled sport, and most significantly, selling ladies’s and women’ golf, each novice {and professional}.

“There isn’t any doubt that our potential to attain this has been impacted by the way more speedy acceleration in males’s skilled prize cash than we had anticipated or deliberate for.”

Purses within the different three main championships in males’s golf additionally elevated this 12 months. The Masters raised its purse to $18 million, the PGA Championship awarded $17.5 million and U.S. Open distributed $20 million.

“These are the stark decisions which we, and I am certain the opposite main our bodies in golf, are dealing with, and now we have to take a strategic method that’s financially sustainable over the long run somewhat than simply discovering short-term options,” Slumbers mentioned. “If you wish to know what I actually care about and what I feel is vital for the sport, it is the monetary sustainability {of professional} golf. It is making certain that golf is prospering in 50 years’ time, however actually importantly, that we preserve and don’t forget the values round our sport.”

Slumbers mentioned the R&A would make investments about $258 million in world golf throughout a 10-year interval.

On Wednesday, the R&A introduced that it’ll host the primary African Newbie Championship at Leonard Creek in South Africa on Feb. 21-24. The 72-hole occasion will characteristic 72 males’s gamers from Africa, and the winner will obtain an exemption into subsequent 12 months’s Open Championship at Royal Troon in Scotland. The R&A will host an invitational occasion of 20 elite ladies’s gamers the identical week.

The R&A, Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership and United States Golf Affiliation stage related novice occasions within the Asia-Pacific and Latin America areas.

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Revealed : 2023-07-19 20:02:44

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