The merger between the PGA Tour and LIV extended Golf’s Longest Day into golf’s longest week. Every year the elite of the golf world compete to earn a spot in a major championship through merit alone. Hundreds of players compete across the country every year in US Open Sectionals Qualifying to play 36 holes with a spot in the US Open field on the line. Dubbed “Golf’s Longest Day“, it is typically one of the biggest golf news days of the year as the drama unfolds and players secure their spots.
Golf media coverage expected to rest after intensely covering Monday’s qualifier when out of the blue, the biggest moment in the history of the PGA Tour occurred. Following almost two years of adamantly denouncing the LIV golf tour, the tours have decided to merge.
In a move to “unify the game” that will end all pending litigation between the two groups, commissioner Jay Monahan announced that the two tours will be combining to form a new commercial entity.
“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love”
While the dust settles and more details release, there is still a long way to go. Players were not aware of the impending merger, and found out at the same time and in the same way as the rest of the world when news broke:
Most players reacted in a similarly surprised way, and questions loomed large. A PGA players meeting that night reportedly got rather heated.
However, players on the LIV Tour reacted with glee. It would appear at first glance that they are going to be able to walk away from the last two years with a large chunk of change. While unclear now, they will likely have to apply for PGA membership again. Possible solutions include payment of an acceptance fee equal to their LIV signing bonus.
The deal sets the two tours to merge under a new holding company, chaired by Saudi Arabian investor Yasir Al-Rumayyan. Al-Rumayyan is the director of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund which has backed LIV golf since its inception. This source of funding served as a major point of contention for the PGA Tour. Players such as Rory McIlroy, who declined the money offered by the LIV Tour, now feel (rightfully?) betrayed by the Tour.
“It’s hard for me to not sit up here and feel somewhat like a sacrificial lamb and feeling like I’ve put myself out there,”
The Future of Golf
There are still many questions to be answered, but even outspoken characters like McIlroy concede that overall a united front is what is best for the game. The merger between the PGA Tour and LIV shocked fans and players alike, but for those golf fans who hope to see the best compete against each other, this looks like a win. The formation of the competitive tour forced the PGA to adopt new policies to modernize the game. These changes also included increased prize money and changes to the season’s schedule. While the future is in question, as long as the two groups have the shared goal of growing the game, this deal could be a huge win for golf.