PGA Tour, LIV, DP World Tour Agree to Agree, Form New Concept

PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan,(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan,(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /

Buckle your seatbelt.  Snow in the summer. Cats and dogs living together.  PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV will merge. Well not completely merge.  Sort of merge.

In an interview this morning on CNBC with David Faber, representatives from the PGA Tour and the Saudi PIF fund commented to explain the new partnership.

“Today is an historical day for the PGA Tour and for the game of golf, and it’s an historical day for the PIF and the DP World Tour,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan on CNBC.  He acknowledged that there had been a great deal of tension in the sport of golf over the last couple of years, which, in theory, should be ended with this new partnership.

"“What we’re talking about today is coming together to unify the game of golf,” Monahan added.“The way we’re doing that is we’re creating a for profit LLC that the PIF is going to invest in alongside the DP World Tour, and together we’re going to move forward, and we’re going to take efforts to grow and expand this great game.”"

Monahan added that they have recognized that together they can have a bigger impact on the game than they can by working apart.

“I give Yasir great credit for coming to the table, coming to discussions with an open heart and an open mind,” Monahan added.

PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LIV Golf, Jay Monahan, Jimmy Dunne, Yasir Al-Rumayyan
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, LIV Golf-Bedminster, Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports /

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia explained how the deal came together.

“We met in London, we had lunch and followed the next day by a round of golf, then another lunch, we had discussions, we covered everything,” Al-Rumayyan said about the way they created the solution to the conflict between the entities.

“One of the things I said was had we met two or three years ago, the impact that we would have on the game of golf would be lessened,” he added.

He believes that the partnership will allow the impact of PIF to be “really big.”

“We will be investing in the growth of the game of golf,” Al-Rumayyan noted.

He also said that they would like to make the game of golf accessible to many more people, just like soccer, basketball, and other sports are.

Here are some of the big-picture parts of the merger:

The lawsuits are dropped, as both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy said they would have to be to have any discussions.

Greg Norman got a phone call before the announcement was made, but no further comment was made regarding Norman’s status.

LIV players will have an avenue to reapply for PGA Tour membership.

There will be separation between the Saudi investment and the operations of PGA Tour events.

The tournament portion of the PGA Tour, which is a 501 c (6), non-profit organization, will remain that way because it is the arm of the PGA Tour that provides the ability for money to be raised for charity. It will not be in the deal.

There is a for-profit portion of the PGA Tour that will create a new company with the PIF/ Saudis, and one presumes the DP World Tour, which will allow them to participate as a business partner, with PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan having a seat on the board.

We do not know if the seat is on the PGA Tour board or some new company board that is yet to be created.

In a later comment on CNBC which was not part of the originally released interview, Yasir Al-Rumayyan said that they would be a part of the new company but they would not control the PGA Tour.

Next. Viktor Hovland Wins Memorial After Improving Short Game. dark

The new company that they will create with the DP World Tour will endeavor to create new for-profit opportunities in golf around the world.

According to Faber, Jimmy Dunne, who is well-known in Wall Street circles, was instrumental in bringing the opposing sides together.  He’s the Seminole GC member who knows players like Rickie Fowler and others and who happens to be Vice Chairman and Senior Managing Principal of Piper Sandler, an investment banker when he’s not playing golf.