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PGA Tour Announces Shocking Merger with LIV Golf

Stunning news out of the golf world on Tuesday as the PGA Tour announced it is merging with the upstart LIV Golf organization.

The groups had been battling since the inception of the Saudi-backed LIV tour and this was about as  unexpected a marriage in the sports world as one could expect.

Patrick Reed of the US
Patrick Reed of the US - Karim SAHIB / afp

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PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan sent a memo to players outlining the merger:

“There is much work to do to get us from a framework agreement to a definitive agreement, but one thing is obvious: through this transformational agreement and with PIF’s collaborative investment, the immeasurable strength of the PGA Tour’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model not only remains intact, but is supercharged for the future.”

The organizations had been embroiled in antitrust lawsuits. Those likely will go away. Also, the merger will not be official until the PGA Tour policy board gives its approval.

Big names such as Phil Mickelson, had left the PGA Tour for the millions — and we mean millions — of dollars offered by the LIV group.

It created ill will and tension, especially when players from both tours competed together in golf major events.

In a statement, the circuits said the parties have signed an agreement that “combines PIF’s golf-related commercial businesses and rights (including LIV Golf) with the commercial businesses and rights of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour into a new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that delivers maximum excitement and competition among the game’s best players.”

“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love,”  Monahan said in a statement. “This transformational partnership recognizes the immeasurable strength of the PGA Tour’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model and combines with it the DP World Tour and LIV — including the team golf concept — to create an organization that will benefit golf’s players, commercial and charitable partners and fans.”

The future of what the LIV Tour will look like has not been addressed. ESPN reported the decision to merge was done without knowledge of players on either tour and agents.

 

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