The PGA Tour, the European Tour and LIV Golf have decided to take a historic step: they are merging to unify the world of golf and promote their services at an international level. The aim is to promote this sport together, leaving behind the tensions that had settled since the arrival of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, which boosted the LIV Golf championship when it started its activity in 2022.
What was the origin of this dispute?
The LIV Golf is a professional golf championship that was founded in 2022 with the sponsorship of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. This championship began to rival the PGA Tour of the United States and the European Tour because they offered very high prize money compared to the other tournaments.
Since then, tension has reigned between these three championships, as the Saudi championship has managed to attract some of the most prestigious players in the world. The situation did not seem to improve because the PGA Tour and the European Tour started a legal battle against LIV Golf.
What is this agreement between the PGA Tour, the European Tour and LIV Golf about?
Each of the parties has entered into an agreement combining the golf-related business and commercial rights of PIF (including LIV Golf) and the business and commercial rights of the PGA Tour and the European Tour. All of this comes together in a new for-profit, collectively owned entity. This means that, with the new agreement, all claims will be disposed of to start with a stronger relationship.
The aim is to ensure that all parties benefit from this agreement that promotes a model of play where excitement and competition play a role in increasing the participation of the best golfers.
Some of the players who made the decision to attend LIV Golf (because of its generous salaries and prizes) were Abraham Ancer, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia, among others.
However, not everyone decided to migrate to the new championship. Famous players such as Tiger Woods or Jon Rahm decided to stay in the PGA.
The agreement also provides for the development of a fair and objective process for players who wish to reapply for membership on the PGA Tour or European Tour after the 2023 season has ended.
In addition, the new entity wants to work hard to develop a calendar of great interest for players, employees and sponsors.
The first to speak after the news broke was Jay Monahan, the commissioner of the PGA Tour. He has clearly indicated that this is a historic day to celebrate, as disruptions and distractions are put aside to provide the golf world with a cohesive and high quality service.
It is a transformation to champion models that respect the history, legacy and competition of the PGA Tour and the innovation of LIV Golf. That’s why team golf will be included, creating an organization that looks to the future for players, business partners and fans.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, who is also a promoter of the project, has opted to send a friendly and united message. He has indicated in his statements that it is a merger that will revolutionize the world of golf.