Jordan Spieth believes golfers will benefit from Saudi investment’s ‘threat’ to PGA Tour

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  • Jordan Spieth
    Jordan Spieth
    American professional golfer
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth believes Saudi Arabia’s big-money investment in golf threatens the PGA Tour, but in doing so has resulted in changes that will benefit players.

Next month’s Saudi International, previously on the European Tour, is now the flagship event on the Asian Tour, which is also launching ten new events backed by £147million from the Saudi government’s Private Investment Fund. Two-time major winner Greg Norman is one of those leading the new movement.

Several players from the PGA Tour will be participating at the tournament, after gaining permission to do. Spieth is not one of them, but he believes the investment will have a big impact on players.

“I think certainly it’s a threat to the PGA Tour,” said Spieth.

“I think as a player overall it will benefit in that the changes that have come from the PGA Tour have been modernised in a way that may or may not have come about if it weren’t there.

“So for us players on the PGA Tour I think that so far it’s been something that has kind of helped the PGA Tour sit and say ‘Hey, where can we look to satisfy our membership and potentially make some changes going forward where there’s some similarities potentially to a league like that but while maintaining the integrity the PGA Tour has’.

“I can only say from my point of view I think that it’s been beneficial to the players to have competition, and I think the Tour would say that they probably feel that they’re in a better position going forward by having to sit back and kind of take a look at things and make some changes.”

The PGA Tour has given players permission to feature in the Saudi International, providing they make future commitments to play in the the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California. That event is scheduled for the same week, starting on February 3.

Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson are among the star-names travelling to Saudi Arabia.

It was announced on Wednesday that the DP World Tour, formally the European Tour, has followed the PGA Tour in allowing players to take part in the event, but they too will be expecting other commitments to be made. Should those not be met, disciplinary action could follow.

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