The PGA tour is merging with Saudi-backed LIV in a merger that would end their tense legal battles

Golf’s two biggest rivals are merging into one.

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf have agreed to combine their business operations, putting an end to the stream of litigation between the two enterprises and creating a global golfing giant.

The yet-to-be-named company will bring together the PGA and its Saudi-backed rival. The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) will invest billions into the new company, Saudi PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan confirmed on CNBC, but did not give an estimated investment total. The PIF will be the exclusive investors in the combined organization.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

The PGA Tour will appoint the majority of the board of directors of the new organization and will hold a majority voting interest in the company. Al-Rumayyan will serve as chairman and Monaham will be CEO of the combined company.

The Europe-based DP World Tour is also covered by the agreement.

The stunning announcement follows a bitter rivalry between the two organizations. Last June, the PGA Tour suspended 17 of its major stars, including Phil Mickelson and Sergio García, for competing in an LIV event. Mickelson had previously faced disciplinary action for making comments about how “scary” it is to get involved with Saudi Arabia, and that its golfing efforts were “sportswashing,” a phrase for a sport being used to legitimize or soften the image of a country or corporation. At the same time, he said LIV was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”

Mickelson and other golfers sued the PGA Tour after that suspension.

The organizations now “will work cooperatively and in good faith to establish a fair and objective process for any players who desire to re-apply for membership with the PGA TOUR or the DP World Tour following the completion of the 2023 season and for determining fair criteria and terms of re-admission,” the PGA Tour said.

LIV exploded into the golf world last year, luring star players with contracts that guaranteed as much as $100 million and tournament prizes that set world records. The PGA, at the time, argued the league was compromising the integrity of the game.

Despite the stars and deep pockets, the LIV struggled to find a broadcast partner in the U.S., eventually signing a deal with the CW network. It failed to sign any big corporate sponsors as well. Last year, it staged eight golf events.

One of the LIV’s hallmarks was its introduction of a team model to the sport and its push to bring in younger viewers. With today’s announcement, the combined company seemed to welcome those changes, which had been so contentious before (and prevented players for earning ranking points with the Official World Golf Rankings).

“We believe there are opportunities for the game to evolve while also maintaining its storied history and tradition,” said Al-Rumayyan in a statement. “This partnership represents the best opportunity to extend and increase the impact of golf for all.”

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.

Read More


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search this website