The PGA Tour and LIV Golf agreed to a merger Tuesday after months of litigation, and golfers from both sides jumped online to dish out reactions.
Only months ago, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan previously told the media it was “not a possibility” they would merge with LIV Golf. Prior to the merger, players publicly feuded, the PGA suspended multiple golfers for playing in LIV and both leagues filed dueling antitrust lawsuits.
“I love finding out morning news on Twitter” PGA golfer Colin Morikawa wrote on Twitter.
I love finding out morning news on Twitter
— Collin Morikawa (@collin_morikawa) June 6, 2023
Mackenzie Hughes, another PGA golfer, shared a similar sentiment.
Nothing like finding out through Twitter that we’re merging with a tour that we said we’d never do that with.
— Mackenzie Hughes (@MacHughesGolf) June 6, 2023
Awesome day today 😊 https://t.co/qUwVJiydym
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) June 6, 2023
And LIV golfer Brooks Koepka took shots at former PGA golfer and outspoken LIV critic Brandel Chamblee writing “Welfare Check on Chamblee.”
Welfare Check on Chamblee
— Brooks Koepka (@BKoepka) June 6, 2023
One 0f the most vocal critics of LIV and the Saudi regime, Rory McIlroy, has been noticeably quiet since the news broke. Plenty of his fellow golfers, however, let their voices be heard.
I feel betrayed, and will not not be able to trust anyone within the corporate structure of the PGA TOUR for a very long time
— Wesley Bryan (@wesleybryangolf) June 6, 2023
Very curious how many people knew this deal was happening. About 5-7 people? Player run organization right? 🤷🏻♂️
— Michael S. Kim (@Mike_kim714) June 6, 2023
Commissioner Monahan criticized LIV in June 2022, saying “And I would ask any player that has left or any player that would consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”
Despite this, he enthusiastically announced the merger Tuesday. “We are pleased to move forward, in step with LIV and PIF’s world-class investing experience,” Monahan said. “I applaud PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan for his vision and collaborative and forward-thinking approach that is not just a solution to the rift in our game, but also a commitment to taking it to new heights. This will engender a new era in global golf, for the better.” (RELATED: Stephen A. Smith Hammers Critics Of LIV Golf, Points Out Clear Hypocrisy)
The agreement will combine the commercial side of the PGA Tour’s business with the PIF’s holdings, which include LIV, and place them into a new for-profit company. This new corporate megalith will be overseen by a board of directors including Al-Rumayyan, who runs both the Saudi Wealth Fund and Saudi state-owned petroleum giant Saudi Aramco.
Many of the golfers who chose not to engage with LIV turned down large sums of money to maintain their convictions. They now likely face a situation where they have to play for less money under a Saudi-owned league anyway.
There’s gonna a tonnnnn of angry PGA Tour players who turned down hundreds of millions of dollars. Do you compensate those guys? What happens with the designated events next year?
This is a player-run organization and they didn’t tell them shit. https://t.co/VrIy8iXqCL
— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) June 6, 2023
The PGA announced the sides will work to finalize the agreement in the coming months.