Top Links:

Get A Golf Handicap

UK Golf Guide

Golfshake Top 100s

Find Golf Travel Deals

Golf Competitions


Community Forum


Tee Times | Search | Reviews


Gear | Tour | Industry Insider


Video Library | Tuition Sections


Join | Log In | Help | Useful Links


Top Players Are Still Confused After Stunning Golf Merger

By: | Thu 15 Jun 2023

View From The Fairway Column by Derek Clements

SINCE the announcement of the merger between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund (PIF) was made, the deal has been short on detail. 

It is blindingly obvious that a huge amount of work still has to be done, which begs a rather obvious question: why on earth did Jay Monahan announce this merger before he was able to provide us with the full details of exactly how it would work?

Even the players at the heart of it all are confused. 

Jon Rahm, the Masters champion, said he felt betrayed, while Open champion Cameron Smith thought the proposed merger was a joke.

Matt Fitzpatrick admitted he didn’t really know what was going on. Rory McIlroy has clearly had enough, cancelling his pre-US Open press conference - presumably because he has had his fill of answering questions about it.

And the US Senate has announced that it is to investigate the plan.

The PGA Tour and PIF-funded LIV Golf have been written to by Richard Blumenthal, chairman of the permanent subcommittee on investigation, asking for all documents relating to the plan.

"PIF's role as an arm of the Saudi government and PGA Tour's sudden and drastic reversal of position concerning LIV Golf raises serious questions," wrote Blumenthal. "Prior to this agreement, PGA Tour was one of the loudest critics of LIV Golf's affiliation with Saudi Arabia."

The documents requested must be provided by 26 June.

Fitzpatrick is as confused as the rest of us. He said: "Are we signing with the PIF? Are we not signing with the PIF? I've no idea. The whole thing is just confusing." 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan brokered the deal with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is governor of the PIF, which funds LIV Golf and is also the majority owner of Premier League club Newcastle United.

LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman hasn’t helped matters by insisting that there are no plans to scrap his 54-hole tournaments. This year’s scheduled events will take place as planned and there are no plans to scrap those that have been inked in for 2024.

McIlroy revealed that he found out about the merger in a phone call the day before it became public. And it seems that LIV’s players, who all signed multi-million dollar contracts, were also kept in the dark.

Jon Rahm

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Rahm said: “We're certainly in a spot in time where there's a big question mark. Where we don't have the answers we would like. It's hard to say.

“You want to have faith in management, and I want to have faith that this is the best thing for all of us, but it’s clear that’s not the consensus. 

“The general feeling is that a lot of people feel a bit of betrayal from management. I understand why they had to keep it so secret. It’s just not easy as a player that’s been involved, like many others, to wake up one day and see this bombshell. 

“That’s why we’re all in a state of limbo because we don’t know what’s going on, how much is finalised and how much they can talk about.

“It’s a state of uncertainty that we don’t love, but at the end of the day, I’m not a business expert. Some of those guys involved in this are. So I’d like to think they’re going to make a better decision than I would, but I don’t know. 

“There are still too many questions to be answered.”

Smith, who won last year's Open Championship at St Andrews before switching to LIV, said he received a phone call from "H.E" (His Excellency Al-Rumayyan) just before the news of the merger broke.

"I guess the first reaction was I thought it was kind of a joke that had come out," said the Australian. "And then H.E. gave me a call and kind of explained what was going on.

"He didn't really explain too much. I think there's still a lot of stuff to be worked out, and as time goes on, we'll get to know more and more.

"But there's definitely a lot of curious players, I think, on both sides as to what the future is going to look like. I haven't been told much at all. I'm just taking it as it goes along."

Smith is taking it as it goes along. The rest of us may feel the powers-that-be are making it up as they go along.

Related Content

PGA Tour And LIV Golf Merger Was Twist We Should Have Seen Coming

Shocking Merger Throws Golf Into Even More Chaos

How The Whole LIV Golf Saga Unfolded

Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: PGA Tour LIV Golf FedEx Cup european tour dp world tour daily picks

Scroll to top