The PGA Tour and LIV Golf have likely decided to merge as a way to finally end their continued legal battles in a way that benefits both parties.
It may seem strange that two direct rivals, such as the PGA and LIV Golf, would turn around and decide to merge. These organizations likely decided that such a merger would be the best way to conclude their litigations.
Why did the PGA merge with LIV?
Golf fans usually expect most of the drama in the sport to happen on the course. However, a recent announcement that the historic PGA Tour will be merging with its rival, LIV Golf, has sent shockwaves through the country.
The Saudi-backed LIV Golf is a fairly new competitor into the Golf scene which was initially created to act as a direct competitor to the PGA.
The PGA did not take this intrusion lightly and both of these entities have been involved in various antitrust lawsuits since 2022.
Now, it seems like the PGA and LIV have decided to merge as a way to put an end to this litigation once and for all.
The PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, confirmed this by calling their rivalry “a disruption and distraction” in his official statement.
We can also assume that the LIV Golf capital, which is derived from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), as well as the established broadcasting rights and connections on the PGA’s side, sweetened the deal for both parties.
What were the PGA and LIV Golf suing each other for?
The legal troubles between the PGA and LIV Golf started when LIV Golf sued the PGA Tour for anti-competitive practices when the PGA banned some of its players. The PGA then countered this by alleging that LIV Golf was stifling competition.
Monahan acknowledged the tensions between these two organizations when he announced the merger. But he insisted that “the game of golf” is all the better now that these two have decided to merge and drop their suits.
The details of the merger deal
The final details of this merger have not been ironed out yet, but we do know that the merger discussions started about seven weeks ago and are expected to last a few more weeks.
The PIF Governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, is expected to serve as the chairman of the new organization, but the PGA and LIV Golf have also not yet announced what their new, merged for-profit organization will be called.
What to expect from the merger moving forward
Besides putting an end to the legal battles between the PGA and LIV Golf, this merger also promises to allow the players that were banned from entering the PGA Tour (and the DP World Tour) to re-apply for their memberships.