PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf agree to merge

STORY: In a landmark agreement on Tuesday, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf announced they will merge into one commercial entity to unify golf, bringing an end to what had been a bitter split in the sport.

It comes after the PGA Tour had sought to fend off competition from LIV by barring PGA Tour players from participating in LIV tournaments.

In a joint statement, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said (quote):

“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love.”

Additionally, the three organizations vowed to work cooperatively to allow a process for any LIV Golf players to reapply for PGA Tour and DP World Tour membership following the 2023 season.

The announcement of the merger includes an agreement to end all pending litigation between the participating parties.

The LIV Golf series - which launched last year - is bankrolled by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund and critics have accused it of being a vehicle for the country to attempt to improve its reputation in the face of criticism over its human rights record.

LIV Golf had lured big-name players away from the rival circuits with staggering sums of prize money for every golfer.

Among the more popular players who made the move to LIV Golf were Hall of Fame golfer Phil Mickelson, former world number one Dustin Johnson, reigning PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka and 2022 British Open winner Cameron Smith.

Mickelson hailed the news in a tweet, saying: “Awesome day today.”

No details were given as to how the agreement will impact the current competitive golf landscape, including eligibility for this year's Ryder Cup, though the parties did say they will work in the coming months to finalize terms of the merger.