The PGA Tour and LIV Golf have agreed to unite to resolve the golf divide.
The PGA Tour and DP World Tour have agreed to unite with the Saudi Arabian-backed circuit LIV Golf, putting an end to the game’s bitter schism.
The unexpected news comes after a year of unparalleled turmoil in the men’s game as a result of the launch of LIV.
It means that any pending dispute between the tours will be dropped, and they will continue as part of the same operation.
“This is a historic day for the game,” said Jay Monahan, commissioner of golf’s main circuit, the PGA Tour.
An agreement has been signed that will combine the PGA Tour and LIV’s commercial operations and rights into a new for-profit entity that will be named later.
The DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour, is included in the deal.
The LIV circuit’s development has fragmented men’s professional golf over the previous year, luring several great players with its big prize money and no-cut events, which feature a team format.LIV Golf is financed by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF), a Saudi crown prince-controlled corporation that has been entangled in anti-trust litigation with the PGA Tour over the last year.
“This is a historic day; to be a part of this new entity is energizing and exciting,” said DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley.
Monahan, his PGA Tour counterpart, confirmed that the team element of LIV’s format will continue in some form in the future.
“This transformational partnership acknowledges the immeasurable strength of the PGA Tour’s history, legacy, and pro-competitive model, and combines it with the DP World Tour and LIV – including the team golf concept – to create an organization that will benefit players, partners, and fans,” he continued.
Last August, 11 players launched an anti-trust action against the PGA Tour, which was later taken over by LIV Golf. The case was set to be heard in 2024.
The DP World Tour won a court battle against 12 LIV players in April for “serious breaches” of the Tour’s code of conduct for competing in LIV Golf events without permission.
Following the increased fines and sanctions, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, and Henrik Stenson resigned their memberships and will be ineligible for this year’s Ryder Cup, which will be held from September 29 to October 1.
Stenson had been named European team captain for the matches in Rome, but when he joined LIV, he was fired and replaced by Luke Donald.
Those players may now be able to return to the fold, with the new venture promising a “fair and objective process” for players to re-apply for membership following the end of this season.