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The key architect behind the shock merger which has rocked golf has claimed PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan now has the power to “disband” the LIV Golf series.

Sports Illustrated reports that Jimmy Dunne, the man who brokered the PGA Tour’s unprecedented deal with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has insisted Monahan can have the final say on LIV’s precarious future.

Dunne is an Independent Director who opened up lines of communications between Monahan, the DP World Tour and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, to thrash out a top-secret deal in the space of seven weeks.

• McEwan: Golf’s strange union exposes phoneys

• Rory McIlroy: PGA Tour has to compensate players

The deal will see golf’s warring factions operate under a new unnamed commercial entity. It is a move that had seemed completely implausible given the deep schism at the heart of the men’s professional game.

And Dunne has suggested that Monahan, the new chief executive of the for-profit entity, has ultimate control on whether the disruptive LIV series fronted by Greg Norman will fold.

“If Monahan wants to disband LIV, he can. If LIV golfers want to play on the Tour, Monahan and the current PGA Tour leaders have to approve the terms,” SI wrote after Dunne briefed them the details of the agreement.

“Monahan has banned them; it is presumed that penalties to return to the Tour will be significant.”

One of the biggest bones of contention in the fallout from the merger announcement has concerned the reintroduction of LIV renegades back on the main circuit.

LIV golfers jumped ship the traditional ecosystem for huge signing fees, but can now return to the PGA Tour and compete in some of the game’s most eminent events as part of the new union.

The joint statement on Tuesday said that the organisations will “work cooperatively and in good faith to establish a fair and objective process for any players who desire to re-apply for membership with the PGA TOUR or the DP World Tour following the completion of the 2023 season.“

• DeChambeau feels sorry for PGA Tour players

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However, Rory McIlroy, who reiterated he still “hates LIV”, was keen to stress in his press conference on Wednesday that the players on the breakaway circuit cannot just stroll back freely onto the PGA Tour without punishment.

And the under-fire Monahan told his blindsided PGA Tour players in a heated meeting in Toronto that “their loyalty will be rewarded.”

“There still has to be consequences to actions,” McIlroy said. “The people that left the PGA Tour irreparably harmed this tour and started litigation against it. We can’t just welcome them back in, that’s not going to happen.

“And I think that was the one thing that Jay was trying to get across yesterday is, ‘Guys, we’re not just going to bring these guys back in and pretend like nothing’s happened’. I do have confidence in him.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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