Golf’s most turbulent year ended on Tuesday when the PGA Tour and European Tour agreed to a merger with Saudi Arabia’s golfing interests, creating a commercial entity that would unite the sport of professional golf around the world.
As part of the agreement, the two parties will immediately cease all claims against each other related to LIV Golf.
It has yet to be determined how players like Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, who switched to Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf for nine-figure bonuses, will be able to rejoin the PGA Tour after this year.
It was also unclear what the LIV Golf League would look like in 2024. Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a memo to players that a thorough evaluation would decide how team golf could be integrated into the sport.
The agreement combines the Public Investment Fund’s golf-related commercial businesses and rights – including LIV Golf – with those of the PGA and European Tours. The new company has not yet been named.
“They went their way, we went ours, and after a lot of thought you realize all this tension in the game is not a good thing,” Monahan said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
“We have a responsibility to our tour and the game, and we felt like it was time to have that conversation.”
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan will join the board of directors of the PGA Tour, which continues to host its tournaments. Al-Rumayyan will be chairman of the new trade group, with Monahan being the CEO and the PGA Tour holding a majority stake in the new company.
The PIF will invest in the commercial enterprise.
Monahan said the decision was made in the past seven weeks.
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