Tuesday 6th June 2023, will go down as one of the momentous days in golf’s long history.

That is the date that the chasm that had divided the long-established USPGA and DP World Tours from the upstart modern LIV Golf Tour, was finally bridged.

The three organisations held secretive talks over seven weeks, culminating in a shock announcement on Tuesday that the trio of tours would merge into a single entity and use a new, and as yet unannounced, name.

What that fresh name is and the exact details of how this newly formed group would oversee the new look tour, are not yet known.

If you’d have contacted bet365 Sport and asked for a price for just such an eventuality on Tuesday morning, I’m willing to bet you’d have got pretty long odds on that happening any time soon, let alone within the next few hours.

After almost two years of bitter feuding, legal action, the banning of LIV Golf Tour players from USPGA and DP World Tour events, expulsion of Ryder Cup veterans from the competition, including one of the captains for the forthcoming event later this year, that period in golf now appears to be over.

For many golfers, fans, sponsors, and anyone with a vested interest in the professional game, that will offer some kind of relief.

However, there is no doubt that the way this agreement was achieved, especially after all that has preceded it, has left a bitter taste in the mouth for many.

Bet365 Bonus Code

Bet365 Review
Min deposit €5
Up to €100 in Bet Credits For New Customers at bet365
Min deposit €5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code BET247 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Ladbrokes Review
Get €20 When You Bet €5

Deposit €5 on Signup
Get €20
New players only
William Hill Sportsbook
William Hill
€30 in Free Bets
William Hill Review
Bet €10 get €30 in free bets
Credited as 2 x €15 bets
New Customers Only

Let’s now take a look at what we do know about the merger, before we take a look at some of the many issues, both positive and negative, that arise from it.

The USPGA, DP World Tour & LIV Golf Merger

What We Know:-

  • Any LIV Golfers that had resigned their card or been suspended by the PGA or DP World Tour can re-apply for membership from the end of the 2023 season.
  • The new company formed by the merger will be funded solely from the Saudi Public Investment Fund as part of the agreement. The capital investment value is not known but it is likely to be measured in billions rather than millions of dollars.
  • Any ongoing litigation between the PGA and DP World Tour with LIV Golf, and vice versa, will be ended immediately.
  • The LIV Golf season for 2023 will continue as planned, as will the other two tours 2023 seasons.
  • LIV Golf will oversee a “comprehensive evaluation” of professional golf to work out how to integrate team golf into the professional game.
  • The new company will be chaired by PIF governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan as the Chief Executive and he will work alongside an executive committee that will include PGA Tour policy board chair, Ed Herlihy and fellow PGA Tour board member Jimmy Dunne amongst others.
  • Currently, the DP World Tour has no representatives confirmed as being on the new company’s committee, but its chief executive Keith Pelley has said he expects that to change shortly.
  • CEO of LIV Golf, Greg Norman, was not involved in the discussions about the merger and is unlikely to be a member of the new company’s committee.
  • It seems that no player part of either of the three tours knew that a potential merger was in the pipeline.

What We Don’t Yet Know:-

  • How the new company will deal with the interests of three tours under one new umbrella organisation and what effect this will have on the schedule for each of the tours from the 2024 season onwards.
  • How the ‘team element’ will work on the expanded tour(s).
  • Whether the number of players that remained loyal to the DP and PGA Tours, refusing large sums of money to join LIV Golf in some cases, will be recompensed for turning down those large sums of cash, and if so how much compensation they will receive.
  • Who will comprise the committee that will oversee the future of World Golf in the new company and across the new-look tour(s).
  • What effect the combination of the tree tours will have on long-standing tournaments, especially those that currently clash in the calendar.
  • What the implications are for each tour’s end of season tournaments (the FedEx Cup and Road to Dubai).
  • How players loyal to the DP and USPGA Tours will react to the news that their organisation, which was one so steadfastly against LIV Golf, has now become a part of that group.
  • How fans, players and sponsors will react to allegations of the Saudi regime using these investments in sports to ‘sports-wash’ some of its dubious actions in the past and present.
  • How the DP World Tour fits into this. Is that tour a fair and equitable partner of LIV Golf and the USPGA in this new organisation, or will the DP World Tour just be consumed by it?

Reaction To The Merger

Initial reaction to the news of the merger was stunned surprise, but since then there has been far fewer optimistic responses, than there have been pessimistic or even downright angry responses.

Despite not being invited to talks LIV CEO Greg Norman Tweeted his delight:

While PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monaghan has taken plenty of flack for accepting the money on offer from LIV Golf.

It is believed that a hastily convened meeting of a number of PGA Tour player on Tuesday night, there were heated exchange between the player and Monaghan after the deal had been announced, without consulting any of the PGA Tour professionals.

Or as Collin Morikawa put it:

Our Take?

This is a huge surprise and an unexpected turn of events. While the current divide in golf could not continue, this is a dramatic rather than pragmatic resolution to that.

It is also a resolution which raises fundamental questions about Jay Monaghan, whose position as commissioner of the PGA Tour now looks to be untenable.

Accurate or not, it does appear that Monaghan changed his tune once some of the Saudi PIF money started to slide his way, and not into the pockets of players departing his organisation.

That will not sit well with the players who turned down huge amounts of money to stay loyal to the tour and who will now, rightly, feel betrayed.

Some may even be looking at claiming compensation on the money they missed out on by not joining LIV Golf.

For Tiger Woods, that could be as much as $500m to $800m depending on who you believe.

It also represents a key moment in the future of golf on the DP World Tour, which already marginalised by the PGA Tour, could become of even less importance depending on how the new schedule for the season is worked now the three tours have merged.

Positives can come from this, the return of strong fields with no omissions of the top golfers, the preservation of the best possible teams for team events like the President’s and Ryder Cup, a radical approach to a new team format being introduced may freshen up golf a little, especially for fans bored of stroke-play tournaments twice a week for most of the year.

However, it needs to be carefully thought out and involve all stakeholders in the game.

Not just those with a vested interest in making as much money as they can.