The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf have agreed to merge commercial operations under common ownership, the PGA Tour has announced.
The shock announcement comes after a year of unprecedented disruption in the men’s professional game following the launch of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit.
“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.
“This transformational partnership recognizes the immeasurable strength of the PGA Tour’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model and combines with it the DP World Tour and LIV – including the team golf concept – to create an organization that will benefit golf’s players, commercial and charitable partners and fans.”
The PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and PIF announce landmark agreement to unify men’s professional golf.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 6, 2023
The announcement will lead to a “mutually-agreed” end to all pending litigation between the various organisations.
An anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA Tour was originally filed last August by 11 golfers before being taken over by LIV Golf. It was due to be heard in 2024.
In April, the DP World Tour won its legal battle against 12 LIV players who committed “serious breaches” of the Tour’s code of behaviour by playing in LIV Golf events without permission.
The subsequent increased fines and suspensions prompted Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson to resign their memberships and become ineligible for the Ryder Cup.
Those players could now return to the fold, with the Tours pledging to establish a “fair and objective process” for players to re-apply for membership after the end of this season.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will initially be the exclusive investor in the new entity and have the right of first refusal on any capital to be invested.
The PGA Tour will appoint a majority of the Board and hold a majority voting interest in the combined entity, with PIF’s governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan the chairman and Monahan the CEO.
DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “This is a momentous day.
“We are delighted to be able to not only reignite our relationship with PIF, but also to have the opportunity to build on our current Strategic Alliance partnership with the PGA Tour.
“Together we will be stronger than ever and well positioned to continue to bring the game to all corners of the globe.
“To partner in this new entity and influence the growth of the game for all our DP World Tour members is energizing and exciting.”