Shock merger agreed between PGA Tour and LIV Golf after year of legal disputes

World

The PGA Tour has agreed to merge with its Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf.

The proposed merger comes after the two tours had been embroiled in lawsuits regarding antitrust claims.

The two tours signed an agreement that would combine the PGA Tour and LIV Golf’s commercial businesses and rights into a new, yet-to-be-named for-profit company.

The agreement includes DP World Tour, also known as the European PGA Tour.

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 rival circuit launched in 2022 and has lured a number of big-name players from the PGA Tour, including Hall of Fame golfer Phil Mickelson, former world number one Dustin Johnson, reigning PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka and Australian Cameron Smith.

In a statement, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said:

“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.

“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.”

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