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On the 6th of June, a bombshell was dropped on the world of golf when a merger between the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and DP World Tour was announced out of seemingly nowhere. After two years of tension between the three tours, and countless suspensions and fines for players who defected to LIV, a new “collectively owned” entity is set to unite the world of golf.
The new entity hasn’t yet been named but it will receive a capital investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) which currently funds the LIV Golf Series. The new entity will open its doors to all golfers, meaning that those suspended by the PGA Tour and DP World Tour will be able to apply for their tour cards again without any punishment.
The announcement was made by PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, who reportedly blindsided the majority of PGA Tour players with the revelation. His statement read:
“Today is a momentous day for your organization and the game of golf as a whole.
“The PGA Tour – your Tour – is leading the formation of a new commercial entity to unify golf, one that sees the end of the disruption and distraction that has divided the men’s professional game for the better part of three years.”
The PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and PIF announce landmark agreement to unify men’s professional golf.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 6, 2023
What does this mean for LIV Golf?
The news that PIF are throwing their weight behind this new entity throws the future of LIV Golf into doubt. Whether the series remains beyond this year is now in doubt although there has been confirmation that the current season will play to a conclusion.
Another interesting piece of information within the original press release, and the subsequent leaks ever since is that the team element of LIV will be incorporated in the new entity. It means that the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm will all be playing team golf in some capacity next season as golf moves into a new age.
What have players on both sides said?
After the announcement was made, Phil Mickelson took to Twitter to say that the news was “awesome” while Collin Morikawa, who reportedly turned down hundreds of millions from LIV to stay loyal to the PGA, suggested that he hadn’t been briefed about the news before it was announced to the world by saying “I love finding out morning news on Twitter.”
Yesterday, Rory McIlroy, who has been the biggest defender of the PGA Tour in recent years, faced questions from the press ahead of the Canadian Open. On the merger, he said that you’d “rather have PIF as a partner than an enemy” but also admitted that he felt like a “sacrificial lamb” and that he “still hates LIV” and “hopes that it goes away”.
-endlessly defended PGA Tour
-turned down reportedly $500M
-sidelined during the negotiation
…“All I’ve wanted is to protect the future of the PGA Tour and I hope that this does that.”
You won’t find a more loyal CLASS ACT in sports. pic.twitter.com/spyPnypfFv
— Will Ahmed (@willahmed) June 7, 2023
What does this mean for the Ryder Cup?
In terms of eligibility requirements for the 2023 edition of the Ryder, nothing much has changed with LIV events still worthless in terms of ranking points this season. However, it is expected that Luke Donald and Zach Johnson (the two current captains) will now be open to selecting current LIV players as captain picks for the event in Rome this September. This means that PGA Championship winner, Brooks Koepka, will now more than likely be a shoo-in for selection.
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