PGA Tour agrees to merge with LIV Golf in controversial new deal

PGA tour
Viktor Hovland, of Norway, waves after his putt on the sixth hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club on Sunday, May 21, 2023, in Pittsford, N.Y. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Who’d have thought? After two years of shots being fired from both sides, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf have merged in a truly historic deal. The Saudi-backed LIV Golf has been controversial since its inception but players who joined ultimately relinquished PGA Tour status outside of the ability to play Majors. From 2024, everything is back to normal…kind of.

PGA Tour and LIV Golf set to merge

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in today’s press release that the ‘transformational partnership’ will benefit all involved and fans should be confident that this will drive the game’s future in the right direction.

Today’s announcement will also see an end to the pending litigation between both companies and will in turn create a way for players to re-apply for cards on both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

It remains to be seen what this means for both tours. LIV Golf did things very differently with teams, shotgun starts, and festival-like atmospheres, while the PGA Tour has flexed from its previously rigid stance built on heritage in a bid to try and keep the eyes of a younger audience.

PGA tour
18th July 2021; Royal St Georges Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent, England; The Open Championship Golf, Day Four; 2021 Open Champion Collin Morikawa (USA) poses with the Claret Jug trophy (Photo by David Blunsden/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire) ****NO AGENTS—NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA SALES ONLY****

In an ideal world, names like Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau will be playing PGA Tour-sanctioned events from the beginning of the 2024 season, and we may even see a blend of both styles of Golf tournament for some events. Perhaps there is a year-long ‘teams’ trophy, or maybe there are some events that embrace that LIV atmosphere – the W.M Phoenix Open would be the perfect venue for such a tournament.

The past two years have seen the Golfing landscape change drastically and whatever happens next is bound to do exactly the same. Despite the controversial nature of the founding of LIV Golf, this venture should hopefully see a more sustainable and exciting future for the game of Golf.

AP Photo/Eric Gay