Surprised at PGA Tour and LIV Merger? So Were the Players.

Collin Morikawa, 2023 Memorial Tournament,(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Collin Morikawa, 2023 Memorial Tournament,(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The PGA Tour shocked the golf world Tuesday morning when they announced that the DP World Tour and LIV Golf will be merging with the PGA Tour into a new, collectively owned entity.

If you are a golf fan who found yourself shocked by social media posts announcing the news, you were in very good company on Tuesday morning, as news of the merger was seemingly also unbeknownst to Tour players.

Collin Morikawa weighs in on news of PGA/LIV merger.

Collin Morikawa was one of the first Tour players to weigh in on the announcement, signaling that perhaps the merger was completed without player knowledge.

Other players shared a sentiment of betrayal and confirmed that the news was not known prior to Tuesday morning.

Canadian golfer and Tour member Mackenzie Hughes shared his experience of learning of the merger on Twitter and noted the hypocrisy of the decision, possibly pointing to Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan’s public criticism of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league and now embracement via merger.

Other players shared their shock at the news as the morning rolled on, with Justin Thomas sharing a gif of a phone blowing up with messages, signaling a busy morning for players being asked questions on a decision they were left in the dark on. An aside kudos to Hatton for keeping the language clean.

At Tuesday’s RBC Canadian Open media availability, Adam Hadwin also confirmed that he learned of the news along with the rest of the world.

“I read it, like most people, when it came out this morning. We were given an e-mail. I read through, we also got an e-mail with comments from Jay regarding it,” the Canadian said.

Perhaps most surprising to hear having been left out of the loop of this groundbreaking merger is Rory McIlroy, who sits on the PGA Tour Policy Board. McIlroy has been an integral member of growing the PGA Tour in a post-LIV world and has also been outspoken against both Greg Norman, CEO and commissioner of LIV, and the tour itself.

Naturally, it was reported that Tuesday’s Players Meeting became very heated, with Tour members touting their sense of betrayal at the decision.

PGA Tour veteran and Golf Channel analyst Johnson Wagner listened in on the meeting through speaker phone and reported his impression that players were “90-10 against the merger”.

Geoff Ogilvy spoke to the Golf Channel after the meeting and described it as a “tough meeting for both sides”. The Australian also echoed calls of confusion, uncertainty, and distrust amongst players.

"“It just feels like nobody really knows what’s happening and the players are out of the loop, but no one really ever likes being out of a loop. You know, everyone likes bit of information and especially when it’s your livelihood and your job and the sport that you love.”"

The 45-year-old-golfer shared with Golf Channel.

Next. History says a merger was always the most likely outcome. dark

From players’ comments post-meeting, it is fair to say Jay Monahan and the Tour were largely unprepared for the delivery of this news and the questions generated by media, players, and fans alike.

To the Commissioner’s credit, nothing might prepare you for an announcement that most social media users considered an April Fools prank.