The PGA Tour, European Tour and rival Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit announced a landmark agreement Tuesday to merge and form a commercial entity to unify golf.
"After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love," PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a joint news release.
"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. Going forward, fans can be confident that we will, collectively, deliver on the promise we’ve always made – to promote competition of the best in professional golf and that we are committed to securing and driving the game's future.
"We are pleased to move forward, in step with LIV and PIF’s world-class investing experience, and I applaud PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan for his vision and collaborative and forward-thinking approach that is not just a solution to the rift in our game, but also a commitment to taking it to new heights. This will engender a new era in global golf, for the better."
The LIV Golf series is bankrolled by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund and critics have accused it of being a vehicle for the country to attempt to improve its reputation in the face of criticism of its human rights record.
The agreement puts an end to the pending litigation between the legacy tours and the Saudi-backed LIV league that would have gone to court in California next year, and it caps the end of a saga that caused turmoil in the sport for close to two years.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which provided LIV with enough money to make star players massive guaranteed offers and pay record tournament purses to lure them away from the PGA Tour, will make a capital investment into the combined entity as part of the agreement.
The tours also said in their joint announcement that players who were indefinitely suspended by the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour for playing in LIV events could have a path to return, as the organizations "will work cooperatively and in good faith to establish a fair and objective process for any players who desire to re-apply for membership" to the legacy tours.
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