The PGA Tour Shocks the Golf World by Merging With Saudi-Backed Rival LIV

The PGA Tour has announced that it will be merging with LIV Golf, a Saudi-funded league that had divided players and fans.

The organizations “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 the DP World Tour following the completion of the 2023 season and for determining fair criteria and terms of re-admission,” the PGA Tour said.

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The major announcement came amid a bitter legal fight between LIV and the PGA Tour, who filed lawsuits against each other, The Washington Post reported. LIV filed an antitrust lawsuit in August claiming that the tour was trying to reduce competition by banning golfers who had defected to LIV. The tour struck back with its own lawsuit, accusing LIV of “tortious interference” by encouraging golfers to break the terms of their contracts.

LIV proved its power in the sport last year by signing some of the most prominent players in the world, including Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, with contracts that were reportedly worth $100 million or more, The New York Times reported. They also had eye-popping tournament prize funds that were among the richest in golf history.

Addressing the lawsuits, PGA Tour said in a statement that the two sides had both agreed to mutually end “all pending litigation between the participating parties.” The tour added that the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is a backer of LIV, will merge its golf businesses with other tours to form a new, for-profit entity.

“Going forward, fans can be confident that we will, collectively, deliver on the promise we’ve always made—to promote competition of the best in professional golf and that we are committed to securing and driving the game’s future,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.

The tour said that all parties will continue to hammer out further details in months to come to finalize an agreement, with further information to be announced in the future.

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