The PGA Tour, European Tour and rival Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit announced a landmark agreement on Tuesday to merge and form a commercial entity to unify golf.
- The organisations will work to allow LIV Golf players to reapply for PGA Tour and European tour membership
- The announcement includes an agreement to end all pending litigation between the parties
- Australian Cameron Smith is among a number of popular players who made the move to LIV Golf
Additionally, the three organisations said in a joint news release that they will work cooperatively to allow a process for any LIV Golf players to reapply for PGA Tour and DP World Tour membership following the 2023 season.
“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 joint news release.
The LIV Golf series is bankrolled by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund and critics have accused it of being a vehicle for the country to attempt to improve its reputation in the face of criticism of its human rights record.
The announcement of the merger includes an agreement to end all pending litigation between the participating parties.
Additionally, the Public Investment Fund will make a capital investment into the new entity to facilitate its growth and success.
The controversial LIV Golf tour came to Australia under all sorts of scrutiny due to its ties to the leadership of Saudi Arabia, a country with myriad human rights issues. But is the focus proportionate?
“Today is a very exciting day for this special game and the people it touches around the world,” said 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 bringing innovation and global best practices to business and sectors worldwide.”
The rival LIV Golf circuit launched in 2022 and lured some big-name players away from the rival circuits with staggering sums of money in 54-hole events that feature no cuts and paydays for every golfer.
Among the more popular players who made the move to LIV Golf are Hall of Fame golfer Phil Mickelson, former world number one Dustin Johnson, reigning PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka and Australian Cameron Smith.