R&A’s CEO breaks bread with Saudi PIF governor at the Open amid PGA Tour LIV Golf deal

Saudi Arabia’s PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan was a guest of a major sponsor last week at the 151st Open Championship.

He met R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers on Sunday during the final round of play, per an article from The Telegraph.

This Open Championship marked the first time since the birth of LIV Golf that Al-Rumayyan was welcomed into the inner workings of a major. Slumbers attended a private box to discuss with Al-Rumayyan and Staveley.

The R&A, one of the governing bodies of global golf, confirmed this meeting. However, it was relayed to be more symbolic than anything else. Slumbers and the other governing bodies of golf are waiting to see what happens between the PGA Tour LIV Golf deal.

Al-Rumayyan and LIV Golf are trying to get world golf recognition. Slumbers is one of the men in charge of deciding the rival golf leagues’ fate. The R&A was one of the first governing bodies to allow LIV Golf players into The Open field. Now that the four majors of 2023 are over, there will be more changes in the exemption categories next year.

Slumbers addressed LIV Golf ahead of the Open Championship and wouldn’t rule out sponsorship opportunities from PIF. That comment sparked some discussion, but until more surfaces, a lot is still up in the air.

LIV Golf saw most of the golfing world turn its nose up to its league. Greg Norman wasn’t invited to the 150th Open Champions dinner. Slumbers criticized LIV that week; comments which he has now contradicted a year later.

Negotiations between the PIF and the PGA Tour are still in the works as they try to come to an agreement. The Senate hearing from earlier this month and the Department of Justice investigation are still ongoing. So, the possibility still exists that the framework never even comes to fruition.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and on Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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