PGA Tour 'agrees to merge with Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf'

PGA Tour agrees to sensational merger with Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf to form new yet-to-be-named company, ‘unify the game’ and end their bitter legal battle – as Donald Trump hails ‘glamorous deal’ for the sport

  • The PGA Tour is reportedly merging with its Saudi-backed rival, LIV Golf 
  • Both tours previously sued their respective rivals, but this deal ends that feud 
  • provides all the latest international sports news

The PGA Tour is merging with its Saudi-backed rival, LIV Golf.

In a shocking move, the PGA and European Tours have signed an agreement with LIV Golf that would combine their commercial business into a new, yet-to-be-named company. Most importantly, the merger ends the ongoing litigation between the two once-bitter rivals. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. 

While the circuit has already bought several of the world’s top players, such as Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, it has also drawn criticism for its ties to Saudi Arabia’s controversial Public Investment Fund (PIF). 

Donald Trump, whose golf courses have hosted several LIV events, trumpeted the news on his social media network.


LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, a former PGA Tour star, has been fighting for his tour’s survival 

Donald Trump, whose golf courses have hosted several LIV events, trumpeted the news

Former President Donald Trump, left, talks with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, center, and Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi on July 29, 2022

In addition to his business ties to LIV Golf, Trump has been highly critical of the PGA in recent years after that tour relocated its 2022 championship away from his course in New Jersey amid uproar over the infamous January 6 ‘Stop the Steal’ rally. 

LIV Golf had been involved in a legal battle with the PGA Tour for interfering with its contracts with players. 

While the PGA was accused of violating antitrust laws by banning LIV players from its tour, golf’s preeminent circuit countersued its Saudi-backed rivals, accusing the outfit of interfering with its deals.

Players who defected to LIV Golf were banned at PGA events, but they can still play at the majors, provided they meet qualifying criteria.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the fund that finances LIV Golf, were also named in the lawsuit in October.

‘Today is a very exciting day for this special game and the people it touches around the world,’ PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said in a statement. ‘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. 

The PGA Tour will maintain its tax-exempt status despite the merger, according to the release. 

The fate players who defected from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf remain unclear, as does the future of the LIV Golf League, which is primarily based around team competitions.

Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a memo to players that the PGA will do an evaluation before deciding on how to integrate team golf into his tour.

‘They were going down their path, we were going down ours, and after a lot of introspection you realize all this tension in the game is not a good thing,’ Monahan said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. ‘We have a responsibility to our tour and to the game, and we felt like the time was right to have that conversation.’

Trump (L), Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan (C), and Jared Kushner at a LIV event in 2022

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wrote a memo to players on Tuesday (pictured)

LIV Golf is heavily funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund, which has committed at least $2 billion to the circuit. But while the rebel tour has attracted media attention in the form of news articles, that publicity had yet to translate to any major media rights or sponsorship deals.

Currently LIV Golf events can be seen on CW and YouTube, although Nielsen ratings have been disappointing to say the least.  LIV Golf is no longer reporting viewer data after claiming that Nielsen’s audience measurements are inaccurate.

There are some top names involved with LIV Golf, including major winners such as Koepka, Johnson, Cameron Smith and Bryson DeChambeau, who were lured with lucrative signing bonuses reportedly worth as much as $100million to $200million. Phil Mickelson was paid a reported $200 million to defect to LIV Golf.

Critics say LIV Golf is simply ‘sportswashing’ Saudi Arabia’s brutal human rights record.

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