PGA Tour Agrees To Merge With Rival LIV Golf
By Jason Hall
June 6, 2023
The PGA Tour announced its agreement to merge with the Saudi-funded rival LIV Golf as part of a "newly formed commercial entity to unify golf" in a news release shared on its official website Tuesday (June 6).
"The PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund (PIF) today announced a landmark agreement to unify the game of golf, on a global basis. The parties have signed an agreement that combines PIF’s golf-related commercial businesses and rights (including LIV Golf) with the commercial businesses and rights of the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour into a new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that delivers maximum excitement and competition among the game’s best players," the news release stated.
The PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and PIF announce landmark agreement to unify men’s professional golf.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 6, 2023
The Public Investment Fund "will make a capital investment" into the newly merged entity "to facilitate its growth and success," according to the PGA Tour. The name of the new entity has not yet been determined as of Tuesday's announcement.
The merger will also result in both sides agreeing to end all pending litigation, with several LIV Golfers, including six-time major champion Phil Mickelson, having previously dropped out of a lawsuit against the PGA Tour last year.
“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “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.
Last month, Brooks Koepka became the first player signed to LIV Golf to win a major with a win at the PGA Championship. Several of golf's biggest names have signed multiyear deals with LIV Golf, which has controversial ties to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and was reported to have offered guaranteed contracts ranging between $100 million and $200 million.
In June 2022, the PGA Tour suspended all LIV Golf members, but allowed players who qualified for major tournaments, such as past winners, to compete.