PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf merger: how the golf world reacted to the exciting announcement | Golf News
The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf announced Tuesday that they will merge to form a new “collectively owned” entity. The sensational announcement surprised players and critics alike and received mixed reactions from the golf world and beyond
Last updated: 06/23/06 at 11:28 PM
The golf world was expressing its astonishment, shock and feelings of betrayal at the stunning announcement that the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf would merge to form a new entity.
More than a year of contention and litigation between LIV, Tours and the players who joined the new tournament came to an end in surprising and surprising fashion on Tuesday with the announcement that the three bodies had created a new business entity to “Unite Golf”.
One of the American players, Wesley Bryan, responded to the merger-affirming PGA Tour tweet by writing: “I love discovering information on Twitter. This is amazing. You should be ashamed and have so many questions to answer.”
“I feel betrayed, and I will not be able to trust anyone within the corporate structure of the PGA Tour for a very long time.”
The move came as a big surprise to many pros, with Canadian Mackenzie Hughes tweeting: “Nothing compares to finding out via Twitter that we’re merging with a tour we said we’d never do.”
PGA Tour golfer Michael Kim wondered how many people knew the merger would happen.
He tweeted: “What the hell? Very strange how many people knew this deal was happening. About 5-7 people? Player is running the organization right?”
But six-time winner Phil Mickelson, one of the players joining LIV Golf, called the merger “great news”.
“Common sense prevailed!!!” said Austrian Bernd Fisberger, who left the DP World Tour for LIV Golf.
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman was notably absent from the press release announcing the merger, and it was later revealed that he was only told moments before the news was announced.
But late Tuesday he tweeted: “Amazing day in world golf for players and fans alike. The journey continues!!”
Not participating in the social media backlash was Rory McIlroy, who has spent the past year vigorously defending the PGA Tour against LIV before broaching the subject in recent weeks.
Byung-hun, the South Korean, known as Bin An on the PGA Tour, and former BMW PGA Championship winner, described the merger as a “win-win” for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf but a “big loss” for players who have remained loyal to the tour.
He tweeted: “I think the LIV teams were struggling to get sponsors and the PGA Tour couldn’t turn down money.
“A win on both tours but a big loss for those who have defended the tour the last two years.”
R&A CEO Martin Slippers welcomed news of the agreement, writing in a statement: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement that will help men’s professional golf move forward in a collaborative, constructive and innovative way.
“We care deeply about the future of golf and are committed to ensuring that the sport continues to thrive for many years to come.
“This agreement represents a major step towards achieving this goal for golf and we look forward to working with the new entity for the benefit of the sport globally.”
Fred Ridley, President of Masters, said: “As previously explained, what makes golf special is its rich history and its ability to bring people together. We are encouraged by this announcement, which represents a positive development in bringing harmony to men’s professional golf.
“Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters Tournament – and will remain dedicated to advancing the game and celebrating its many virtues.”
Sky Sports Golf Said Paul McGinley, analyst and captain of the 2014 European Ryder Cup Sky Sports News: “Any day that golf unites is a good day.
“The last couple of years it hasn’t been standardized. It’s been a diluted consumer product. There’s been a lot of animosity between the players and the tours.
“It was so divided. And the fact that it will be reunited again – in whatever form it may be – is obviously a good day.”
Sky Sports Golf “It’s definitely historic news, and we’ll have to wait and see if this is a positive historical thing,” added analyst Rich Beam.
The new entity will be supported by the financial strength of Saudi Arabia, with the statement emphasizing the merger saying that the Middle Eastern country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will “make a capital investment in the new entity to facilitate its growth and success.”
Amnesty International has expressed concern about what it sees as yet another attempt by Saudi Arabia to launder its human rights record through the sports car.
“While this may have surprised some golf fans and commentators, it is really just further evidence that the Saudi sporting-washing march continues,” said Felix Jakens of Amnesty UK.
“It had been clear for some time that Saudi Arabia was willing to use vast sums of money to carve its way into top-class golf – just part of a broader effort to become a major sporting power and try to distract from the country’s atrocious human rights record.”
Family United 9/11 – a group of survivors and families of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks – said it was “shocked and deeply offended” by the merger.
“Mr. Monahan (PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan) spoke last summer about knowing people who lost loved ones on 9/11, and then asked aloud on national television if LIV Golfers should apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour,” the organization said in a statement.
“They are doing it now – as he is. The leaders of the PGA Tour should be ashamed of their hypocrisy and greed. The 9/11 community was betrayed by Commissioner Monahan and the PGA as their concern for our loved ones seemed to be merely window dressing in their pursuit of money – it was not To honor the great game of golf.”