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Money Talks: The PGA Tour’s Shocking Merger with LIV Golf

For the past year, the world of professional golf has been badly divided. 


On one side stood the proud PGA Tour, which has been around since 1929. On the other, it was LIV Golf, which has been around since… last June. Since then, golf headlines have been littered with tales of big money PGA player defections, cranky public criticisms and bitter legal battles.


Today, the two tours got married.




For the PGA Tour, it’s a complete flip-flop. For the past year, PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan hit the golf world repeatedly with various versions of how terrible LIV Golf is. Everything they stood for is terrible.


To be sure, LIV was controversial from day one. It was a little odd, with just 54 holes and some team events.


But the main controversy? It’s a tour backed by massive amounts of money from Saudi Arabia, a country whose image has long been sullied by violence and grotesque human rights violations. But that didn’t stop several PGA stars like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith, Bryson Dechambeau, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood from accepting generational wealth to cross the street and join LIV. 


Monahan was highly critical of those players and concocted ways to keep more of his players from joining LIV. His worst scheme to keep players from defecting to the new Tour was to suggest they were betraying their country by doing so.




And then Monahan, who claimed to be so dead against LIV and everything they stood for, joined forces with them, bringing the whole PGA Tour with him. Not only that, he didn’t bother to tell most of the PGA players. Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, for one, had to read about the merger on Twitter.




Rory McIlroy is probably the most frustrated golfer out there. Not only did he miss out on the massive pay day that other players received to go to LIV, he was the PGA’s voice in this fight, frequently critical of the LIV Tour.


As of today, it was all for naught. All those other players are back, some of them $150 million richer. Rory isn’t, not as far as we know.


No one knows if any of the LIV rules, bloated prize money or ways of doing things will bleed now into the PGA Tour. But it’s going to be fascinating to see how players and fans react as the PGA embraces Saudi money and two sworn enemies try to climb into bed together.


Meanwhile, you have to feel for the Canadian Open which is set for this weekend. They were upstaged by LIV’s debut event last year. And now they’re being upstaged by LIV once again. 


Who knows? Maybe the Canadian Open will be a LIV event next year and they can make it up to them.

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