The PGA Tour on Tuesday announced a seismic partnership with fledgling circuit LIV Golf that will leave the traditional summer football transfer markets in the wake of potentially one of sport’s biggest ever moves.
The news came as a shock across the sporting world on Tuesday almost exactly a year after the new LIV Golf League held its first event in London at Centurion Club, with the likes of Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and Ian Poulter on the books, and name-drops of Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson happening as new arrivals during the inaugural competition.
We certainly knew something was happening but, with the divides that followed between the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and LIV, I don’t think anyone quite envisaged this new development ahead of a hectic summer that includes a US Open return to Los Angeles, the Liverpool Open Championship and a Ryder Cup.
“This is a historic day for the game we all know and love,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
According to the BBC, an agreement has been signed that will combine the PGA Tour and LIV’s commercial operations and rights into a yet-to-be-named entity.
The DP World Tour — who already have a mutual agreement with the PGA Tour — will be part of the merger.
Sky Sports also confirmed the following:
- LIV golfers who were suspended indefinitely by the PGA and DP World Tour will be able to re-apply for membership from the end of the 2023 season
- All lawsuits between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV golf will be ended
- Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which funded LIV Golf’s emergence, will make a capital investment into the combined entity as part of the agreement “to facilitate its growth and success”.
- A “comprehensive evaluation of LIV Golf to determine how best to integrate team golf into the professional game” will take place.
- LIV Golf’s 2023 schedule will continue as planned.
Despite its division of opinions, LIV’s arrival reinvigorated the men’s game since its inception, with $25 million prize purses and a reactive injection into the pay days on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.
“This is a momentous day — to partner in this new entity is energising and exciting,” said DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.