The PGA Tour Is Merging With LIV Golf, Ending Bitter Sports Battle
The PGA and LIV Golf are joining forces.
The bitter battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is suddenly over, with golf’s two biggest brands joining forces to unify the sport, according to a surprise announcement.
The PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed rival league are merging into a single company, The PGA announced Tuesday. The two sides will also be merging with the European DP World Tour.
In addition, LIV players can now reapply for memberships with the PGA and DP Tours after this year, according to Golf Digest.
“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
“This transformational partnership recognizes the immeasurable strength of the PGA Tour’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model and combines with it the DP World Tour and LIV—including the team golf concept—to create an organization that will benefit golf’s players, commercial and charitable partners and fans.
“Going forward, fans can be confident that we will, collectively, deliver on the promise we’ve always made—to promote competition of the best in professional golf and that we are committed to securing and driving the game’s future.
“We are pleased to move forward, in step with LIV and PIF’s world-class investing experience, and I applaud PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan for his vision and collaborative and forward-thinking approach that is not just a solution to the rift in our game, but also a commitment to taking it to new heights. This will engender a new era in global golf, for the better.”
LIV Golf, financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and led by controversial golf legend Greg Norman, had enticed some of the biggest names in golf last year with reported nine-figure contracts, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.
The PGA Tour then banned any LIV Golf defectors from competing on the Tour, and the two leagues were embroiled in a pitched antitrust battle.
With the merger, the Tour and LIV have reportedly agreed to end all litigation between the two golf organizations.
According to the PGA, the Saudi Public Investment Fund “will make a capital investment” into the new, yet-to-be-named supertour.
“They were going down their path, we were going down ours, and after a lot of introspection you realize all this tension in the game is not a good thing,” Monahan told The Associated Press, per the New York Post.
“We have a responsibility to our tour and to the game, and we felt like the time was right to have that conversation.”