Golf’s ongoing civil struggle seems to be coming to a shocking finish after Saudi-backed breakaway league LIV Golf, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour introduced that they’ve merged.
The three largest excursions in world golf made the announcement out of the blue after 18 months of bitter battle that has seen gamers who defected from the ‘establishment’ PGA Tour to the controversial LIV tour, resembling Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson, branded as traitors.
That has prompted feuds with loyalist stars resembling Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm – typically leading to a confrontation within the press – however the excursions seem to have reached an answer.
An announcement put out by the PGA Tour confirmed the merger, which places a direct finish to all ongoing lawsuits the place gamers and excursions have been suing and counter-suing one another.
The assertion learn: “The PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund (PIF) today announced a landmark agreement to unify the game of golf, on a global basis.
“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.”
The finish to the continuing lawsuits was additionally highlighted within the assertion.
“Notably, today’s announcement will be followed by a mutually agreed end to all pending litigation between the participating parties,” it added.
“Further, the three organizations 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, consistent with each Tour’s policies.”
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan – who has been considered one of LIV Golf’s most outspoken critics – additionally confused his delight on the settlement reached.
“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love,” stated Monahan.
“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.
“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.”
An anti-trust lawsuit in opposition to the PGA Tour was initially filed final August by 11 golfers earlier than being taken over by LIV Golf. It was as a consequence of be heard in 2024.
In April, the DP World Tour received its authorized battle in opposition to 12 LIV gamers who dedicated “serious breaches” of the Tour’s code of behaviour by enjoying in LIV Golf occasions with out permission.
The subsequent elevated fines and suspensions prompted Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson to resign their memberships and turn out to be ineligible for the Ryder Cup.
Those gamers may now return to the fold, with the Tours pledging to ascertain a “fair and objective process” for gamers to re-apply for membership after the top of this season.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will initially be the unique investor within the new entity and have the appropriate of first refusal on any capital to be invested.
The PGA Tour will appoint a majority of the Board and maintain a majority voting curiosity within the mixed entity, with PIF’s governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan the chairman and Monahan the CEO.
Additional reporting by PA