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The PGA Tour has extraordinarily agreed to merge with LIV Golf and the DP World Tour as part of a groundbreaking new commercial entity to “unify” the professional game. 

LIV Golf and the two established circuits in golf have been embroiled in legal battles ever since the Saudi-backed breakaway’s disruptive emergence last year.

But the shock deal will abruptly end the deep schism in the sport and all pending litigation to move golf forward as one entire for-profit enterprise.

“The PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund (PIF) today announced a landmark agreement to unify the game of golf, on a global basis,” an official statement read.

“The parties have signed an agreement that combines PIF’s golf-related commercial businesses and rights (including LIV Golf) with the commercial businesses and rights of the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour into a new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that delivers maximum excitement and competition among the game’s best players.”

The statement notes that PIF will have the exclusive right to pour money into the new entity, which hasn’t been named yet.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said: “After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love.

“This transformational partnership recognises 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 organisation that will benefit golf’s players, commercial and charitable partners and fans.”

Monahan is set to be Chief Executive Officer of the new commercial entity, while Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the Governor of the Public Investment Fund that has bankrolled the lucrative LIV series, will be the chairman. 

A merger had not even been regarded within the golf circles as a remote possibility to end the civil war that has ripped through the sport, diluting fields and causing the breakdown of long-term friendships.

But, remarkably, an agreement has been reached that will see the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV to “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.

“This is a momentous day – to partner in this new entity is energising and exciting,” said DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

The game’s elite stars were clearly blindsided by the sensational news that broke on Tuesday afternoon.

Collin Morikawa summed up the reaction of tour players when tweeting: “I love finding out morning news on Twitter.”

Brooks Koepka, meanwhile, fired a dig at Brandel Chamblee, the most public critic of the LIV tour. “Welfare check on Chamblee,” the five-time major winner tweeted.

Phil Mickelson, the chief renegade on the LIV tour, hailed an “awesome day” for the sport.

The new commercial entity involving all three tours is said to “ensure a cohesive schedule of events that will be exciting for fans, sponsors and all stakeholders.”

The statement continued: “PIF will initially be the exclusive investor in the new entity, alongside the PGA TOUR, LIV Golf and the DP World Tour.

“Going forward, PIF will have the exclusive right to further invest in the new entity, including a right of first refusal on any capital that may be invested in the new entity, including into the PGA TOUR, LIV Golf and DP World Tour.”

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