For all intents and purposes, the drama that has embroiled the professional golf world appears to be no more.
According to CNBC, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have agreed to merge with LIV Golf, which is backed by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. Lillian Rizzo of CNBC broke that news on Tuesday, and the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF followed with confirmation of the announcement with the following press release.
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.
In addition, PIF will make a capital investment into the new entity to facilitate its growth and success. The new entity (name TBD) will implement a plan to grow these combined commercial businesses, drive greater fan engagement and accelerate growth initiatives already underway. With LIV Golf in the midst of its second, groundbreaking season, the PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and PIF will work together to best feature and grow team golf going forward.
Yasir Al-Rymayyan will become chairman of the newly merged, FOR-PROFIT entity and Jay Monahan will become CEO of the new venture. Curiously, one name not mentioned in the press release is Greg Norman, who has been the public face of LIV Golf since its inception.
The release states PGA Tour Inc. will remain a 501(c)6 organization and continue sanctioning events and governing “inside the ropes responsibilities.”
“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 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.”
As a part of the agreement, the three organizations will work to establish a “fair and objective process for any players who desire to re-apply for membership” following the completion of the 2023 season, according to the release.
This deal will end all proposed litigation as the game of golf will be united once again. But it’s anyone’s guess as to what form or shape that takes with the major world tours and LIV now joining forces in a new venture.