The PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and the LIV Golf League, which have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle for more than a year, have agreed to merge and move forward in a larger commercial business, the circuits announced Tuesday. The tours called the stunning development “a landmark agreement to unify the game of golf, on a global basis”. The landmark deal between the tours and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) was reached without the knowledge of many PGA Tour members and LIV Golf players and agents. 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”. The three tours said they 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 DP World Tour following the completion of the 2023 season”.
In a memo to PGA Tour players on Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan wrote that in addition to making a financial investment in the new entity, PIF would become a premier corporate sponsor of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and other international tours. Monahan wrote that PIF will make investments to “build an even stronger and more robust commercial business, together” and was committed to “significant financial support toward causes that positively impact the game on a global basis”. Monahan wrote that the PGA Tour would evaluate how “best to integrate team golf into the professional game”. He said LIV Golf would complete its 2023 schedule, which resumes later this month in Spain.