PGA Tour announces stunning MERGER with LIV Golf: "No f---ing way!"

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour has agreed to merge with their Saudi-backed LIV Golf rival in a deal which will end all litigation. 

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 6 Jun 2023
PGA Tour announces stunning MERGER with LIV Golf: "No f---ing way!"

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour has agreed to merge with their Saudi-backed LIV Golf rival in a deal that will end all litigation. 

The bombshell announcement was made on 6 June and effectively ends the split in men's professional golf. 

LIV Golf launched their rival league last June, luring some of the PGA Tour's best talent with astronomical up-front fees. 

The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle for more than a year. 

It all started when Phil Mickelson and 10 other professional golfers sued the PGA Tour in federal court. 

That came after they were fined and suspended from playing in PGA Tour events after teeing it up in LIV events without tournament releases.

It was alleged the PGA Tour had used their 'monopoly power' to squash competition. The PGA Tour countersued. 

The European-based DP World Tour also issued fines and suspensions, which appeared to bring to an end the glittering Ryder Cup Europe careers of the likes of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia. 

This apparent deal was apparently struck without the knowledge of many PGA, LIV Golf members and agents. 

A PGA Tour player reportedly told ESPN: "No f---ing way!"

So what do we know?

  • The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf have signed an agreement that combines PIF's golf-related commercial businesses and rights with the commercial businesses and rights of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour
  • A new, for-profit entity will be created 
  • PIF will make a capital investment into the new facility
  • An agreement has been reached to end all pending litigation 
  • The three organisations will work together 'in good faith' for any players who wish to re-apply for their memberships

What they said:

PGA Tour boss 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.
"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.

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan:

"We are proud to partner with the PGA Tour to leverage PIF's unparalleled success and track record of unlocking value and brining innovation and global best practices to business and sectors worldwide.  We are committed to unifying, promoting and growing the game of golf around the world and offering the highest-quality product to the many millions of long-time fans globally, while cultivating new fans. 
"There is no question that the LIV model has been positively transformative for golf. We believe there are opportunities for the game to evolve while also maintaining its storied history and tradition. This partnership represents the best opportunity to extend and increase the impact of golf for all.  We look forward to collaborating with Jay and Keith to bring the best version of the game to communities around the world." 

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley:

"This is a momentous day. We are delighted to be able to not only reignite our relationship with PIF, but also to have the opportunity to build on our current Strategic Alliance partnership with the PGA Tour.  Together we will be stronger than ever and well positioned to continue to bring the game to all corners of the globe. To partner in this new entity and influence the growth of the game for all our DP World Tour members is energizing and exciting."

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