The golf world is abuzz with news of the PGA Tour's merger with Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf. The deal, which was announced on Tuesday, ends a multi-year turf war and provides the PGA Tour with access to the Public Investment Fund's vast resources.
The merger has been met with mixed reactions from golfers, with some seeing it as a necessary step for the growth of the game, while others view it as a compromise of values due to Saudi Arabia's human rights history.
The partnership between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf has been a long time coming, with talks between the two sides beginning seven weeks ago. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and Governor of the Public Investment Fund, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, struck the deal after meeting in Venice and London.
The sudden announcement caught many off guard, including LIV Golf frontman Greg Norman and PGA Tour players Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Monahan emphasized that the agreement is not final and that he plans to speak with all players to ensure it is done "the right way."
The merger will also end all outstanding litigation, including a lawsuit filed by several golfers who joined the LIV tour against the PGA Tour. The new partnership has the potential to grow the game, but some players may have issues with receiving money from a country with a history of human rights violations.
In the end, the impact of the move is likely to be felt for some time. While the PGA Tour now has access to the PIF's resources, it has also compromised its values by partnering with a country known for human rights abuses. Only time will tell whether this partnership was worth the cost.