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PGA Tour and DP World Tour announce stunning merger with LIV Golf on ‘historic day’

In an unexpected turn of events, the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and the DP World Tour have announced a deal to "unify the game of golf"
 

The PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia have sensationally announced a “landmark agreement” to “unify the game of golf.”

Each party has signed an agreement to combine the PIF’s golf-related businesses, including LIV Golf, with that of the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.

All litigation proceedings between the parties have been mutually ended and the organisations said they will now work together “in good faith”.

Following the completion of the 2023 season, a process to allow players to re-apply for PGA Tour and DP World Tour membership is set to be established.

The agreement will see the establishment of a “new, collectively owned, for-profit entity” so the stakeholders can “deliver excitement and competition to the fans and the players”.

The name of the new entity is yet to be determined and a PGA Tour statement said a plan will be made to grow the combined businesses for fan engagement. The PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, and LIV Golf will work together to also grow team golf going forwards.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF, will be its chairman, with Jay Monahan becoming CEO.

The merger news stunned the golf world given the bitter relationship between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf since the Saudi-backed venture was launched a year ago.

Suspensions, resignations, lawsuits, and rancour have reigned since and it was only last month that some of Europe’s greatest golfers – Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter – quit the DP World Tour.

As recently as last week, Rory McIlroy, an outspoken critic of LIV Golf, was saying players should be excluded from Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

Now, it appears to be all change, with golfers on both sides of the divide expressing surprise at the sudden move.

With the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf said to be retaining administrative oversight of their respective organisations, it will be interesting to see what the future holds as the professional game’s bitter civil war looks like coming to an end.

“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.”

“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.

“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.”

Keith Pelley, DP World Tour chief executive, added: “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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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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