The recent merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf has been a hot topic of discussion in the golf world. The two-year rivalry between the two tours has come to an end, with the announcement of the merger. The merger has left many wondering what this will mean for the future of golf and the PGA Tour.
LIV Golf, backed by Saudi money, had lured some of the world's best players, including Phil Mickelson, away from the PGA Tour. Mickelson, who was paid a reported $200m to join LIV Golf, was the most prominent face of the critics. He was heavily criticized for taking what was perceived as Saudi “blood” money and abandoning the tour that made him rich and famous. The announcement of the merger was met positively by Mickelson, who tweeted, "Awesome day today". However, he declined to comment further, wanting to avoid any perception of taking a victory lap.
Former President Donald Trump expressed his delight at the merger between the PGA, LIV Golf, and the DP World Tour, which he called "big, beautiful, and glamorous". Trump's branded golf courses have previously hosted LIV Golf events. The merger comes after 18 months of bitter conflict between the three tours, which saw players who defected from the PGA Tour to the LIV Tour branded as traitors. The merger puts an end to all ongoing lawsuits between players and tours.
The PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and the Public Investment Fund have signed an agreement to unify the game of golf on a global basis, combining PIF's golf-related commercial businesses and rights with the commercial businesses and rights of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour into a new, collectively owned, for-profit entity.
While some players on the PGA Tour appeared to be caught off guard by the merger, others such as Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka welcomed the news. Sports reporter Brandel Chamblee has expressed his disappointment and sadness regarding the merger of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. Chamblee, who has been a vocal critic of LIV Golf and accused players who left the PGA Tour to play there of “sportswashing,” called the news of the merger “one of the saddest days” in golf history. He also questioned the circumstances that led to the merger and suggested that the governing bodies and professional entities had sacrificed their principles for profits.
In conclusion, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf merger will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the golf world and its players. While some players and former presidents have welcomed the news, others have expressed their disappointment and sadness. Only time will tell what this merger will mean for the future of golf and its players.