PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf Agree to Merge to End Bitter Split

PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf Agree to Merge to End Bitter Split

Edwin Kiplagat
June 6, 2023 at 4:44 PM
  • The PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and DP World Tour have agreed to merge
  • The ground-breaking announcement comes after a bitter legal struggle for over a year
  • LIV Golf's launch last year disrupted the sport and lured some of the biggest names

The PGA Tour has agreed to a merger with Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf and DP World Tour in a deal that will bring an end to the split in the sport.

The stunning announcement brings an end to a year of a protracted legal struggle that disrupted the sport. This means pending lawsuits involving LIV Golf against each other will be dropped immediately.

PGA Tour, LIV Golf, DP World Tour, Bruce Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Duston Johnson
LIV Golf was backed by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. Photos by Hunter Martin and Steve Dykes/LIV Golf.
Source: Getty Images

The sides have signed an agreement that will combine Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) and PGA Tour golf-related business and rights into a new entity yet to be given a name. The deal also included DP World Tour, previously known as the European Tour.

"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 statement via ESPN.

Launched in 2022, LIV Golf unsettled the men's game. It lured some big names like Phil Mickelson, former world number one Dustin Johnson, reigning PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka and 2022 British Open winner Cameron Smith, per Reuters.

It is still unclear how Koepka and Johnson can rejoin the PGA Tour after this year.

Player Reactions

Pro golfers across the tours took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the merger. Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson were among the players reacting to the breaking news.

What next for the sport?

As part of the ground-breaking agreement, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund will make a capital investment into the combined entity.

"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," the statement said.

Monahan ruled out a potential truce with LIV Golf in September last year.

"When you look at where we are, and you think about words and actions, we’re currently in a lawsuit, so coming together and having conversations, to me, that card is off the table, and it has been for a long period of time," via Fox Sports.

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan will join the board of the PGA Tour, which continues to operate its tournaments. Al-Rumayyan is set to be chairman of the new commercial group. Monahan will be the CEO, and PGA Tour will have a majority stake in the new venture.

Many have accused PIF of "sportswashing" after they injected $2 billion into the golf industry. Some have claimed they are using sports investments to cover up the monarchy's history of human rights violations.

Koepka's five major championships

Sports Brief earlier reported on Bruce Koepka's five major championships.

The 33-year-old returned to the top of the golfing world, winning the 2023 PGA Championship by two shots last month.

He also won the 2017 and 2018 US Open, the 2018 and 2019 PGA championships.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Editor- Other Sports