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PGA TOUR to merge with LIV Tour

What is happening? We don’t know yet. But it appears a truce has been reached.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman watches from a suite on the 18th green during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational - DC at Trump National Golf Club on May 27, 2023 in Sterling, Virginia. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The PGA TOUR and LIV Golf have reportedly agreed to merge in an “an agreement that would combine the PGA Tour and LIV Golf’s commercial businesses and rights,” per CNBC.

The merged entity will have a new name that has yet to be announced. Per CNBC, the Saudi’s investment fund will be financially supporting the new merger league and will be the sole initial investor in the merged company.

LIV was founded in 2021 and has been an ongoing rival with the PGA TOUR since its conception. It is backed by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund and has signed golfers including Phil Mickelson, Cameron Smith, and Dustin Johnson.

The PGA TOUR has been threatened with antitrust litigation from LIV over the past year after the TOUR announced it would not allow LIV golfers to participate in PGA TOUR events. The leagues have gone head-to-head at majors this year, and much of the narrative at those tournaments surrounded the rivalry between them. Golfers have been outspoken on their beliefs about both leagues, and the PGA TOUR actually changed its format in recent seasons in response to LIV’s founding.

Under this new agreement, LIV golfers will be allowed to reapply for PGA TOUR and DP World Tour membership following the 2023 season. It is unclear whether PGA TOUR golfers on the Player Advisory Council had any say in this decision, or even knew about it ahead of time.

The PGA TOUR was founded in 1929 and is essentially synonymous with the sport of golf in America. There are also differences in the leagues — LIV plays just 54 holes, while PGA TOUR events go a full 72. LIV hosts less than 20 events each year, and the PGA TOUR has nearly 50.

PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan, who has been one of the most outspoken voices against LIV, said in the press release:

After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love. 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 deal was announced Tuesday.