PGA-LIV golf merger reminds us money counts most in sports
Golf saw a seismic shift in the industry with the merger of LIV Golf, the PGA Tour and the European DP World Tour. The announcement came just after the 2022 RBC Canadian Open, where PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan criticised players leaving for LIV Golf. However, one year later, Monahan announced he had negotiated a merger with the Saudi-backed golf competitor. The new conglomerate does not yet have a name, but the PGA Tour, which originally wanted to distance itself from Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations, will now have the PIF as an investor. Family members and rescue workers associated with 9/11 have regularly protested at LIV Golf events, which the PGA Tour leadership supported until the merger. The reactions from players and fans varied, with some feeling they won in the end and others feeling let down by the PGA Tour’s about-face towards Saudi Arabia. Many questions remain unanswered, leaving fans to grapple with the implications of the merger.
What does the merger mean for golf?
The merger of LIV Golf, the PGA Tour and the European DP World Tour will create a new golf conglomerate, which does not yet have a name. The PGA Tour, which originally wanted to distance itself from Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations, will now have the PIF as an investor. Family members and rescue workers associated with 9/11 have protested at LIV Golf events, which the PGA Tour leadership supported until the merger.
How did players and fans react to the merger?
Players and fans had varied reactions, with some feeling they won in the end by taking the payout from LIV Golf and now watching the PGA Tour merge with it. Others feel let down by the PGA Tour’s about-face towards Saudi Arabia. Many questions remain unanswered, leaving fans to grapple with the implications of the merger.
What happens to PGA Tour members who were against being associated with Saudi Arabia?
PGA Tour members who were against being associated with Saudi Arabia will have to be associated with the new conglomerate, but they remain wealthy and loyal to their values.
What will happen to golf fans who chose ethics over network associations?
For better or for worse, the organizations involved in the merger are now intertwined, but this could end broadcasts cutting away from competitive LIV Golf finishes to infomercials and sitcoms. The awkward overlaps of players during the 2023 Masters or PGA Championship may not get any easier to digest.
How will the merger affect players during competitive events?
It is unclear how the merger will affect players during competitive events such as the 2023 Masters or PGA Championship. There had been controversial history and torn relationships between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, which may make these situations difficult to navigate.
The merger of PGA and LIV golf highlights the significance of money in sports.
In a historic merger that will forever change the world of golf, the PGA Tour, the European DP World Tour, and LIV Golf have combined forces. But just a year ago, this scenario seemed implausible, and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan was criticizing those who had left for LIV Golf. At the 2022 RBC Canadian Open, Monahan sat behind a news desk with CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz, and criticized LIV Golf for their Saudi-backing and the millions they were offering to Tour members. Fast forward a year later, and Monahan has negotiated a merger with LIV Golf and the Saudi-backed investment firm, the Public Investment Fund. The PGA Tour will now have the PIF as an investor, despite its previous hesitancy to associate with human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. While the merger has been celebrated by some, others still have unanswered questions about its implications. The reactions and comments from all involved parties seem to reflect the reality that, despite the sport’s traditional values and loyalty, this historic merger was all about the money.