PGA Tour and LIV Golf merger could get £3bn boost from group including FSG

PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf agree shock merger

The PGA Tour could be getting a whopping £3bn boost from a group of billionaire sports team owners, including the bosses of Liverpool FC. This comes as talks about a possible merger with LIV Golf and the DP World Tour continue amid a six month-long stalemate. 

Back in June, it seemed like peace was on the horizon for the golfing world when PGA chief Jay Monahan announced plans for a merger between the American-based tour, the DP World Tour and LIV Golf. But with the deadline for an agreement looming on December 31, it’s still unclear if these plans will come to fruition.

However, according to ESPN, it looks like a deal with the Strategic Sports Group (SSE), which includes big names from American sports like Tom Werner and John W. Henry of FSG – the parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC – is almost done.

If the deal goes through, it could lead to the creation of a new for-profit entity called PGA Tour Enterprises. Plus, a potential agreement with LIV owners PIF could see a massive $7 billion pumped into the new organisation, bringing together the commercial assets of the PGA Tour, PIF and DP World Tour.

The deadline for a binding agreement is fast approaching, but it could be extended into the new year. PGA Tour boss Monahan and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan are planning to meet before December ends, despite previous meetings having seemingly been postponed. 

PGA Tour leaders know they’re up against the financial power of the Saudi Arabian circuit’s owners. The whopping $566.4m deal to get 2023 Masters champ Jon Rahm to join the Gulf State tour was one of PIF’s biggest moves yet.

The chance of LIV Golf getting more top players to join in the next few months is high, especially as they plan to recruit more players for Rahm’s team. But, working with big-name partners from SSE might appeal to PIF officials.

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SSG includes Henry, Werner, Blank, Grousbeck, Mark Attanasio (Milwaukee Brewers), Cohen Private Ventures (New York Mets) and Tom Ricketts (Chicago Cubs). LIV boss Greg Norman still thinks a deal with the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour will be struck. 

He said: “I’m just going to say this: The narrative coming out of LIV has been consistent and we have not changed. The narrative from the other side of the world of golf has fluctuated tremendously from players to institutions. And that narrative now is switching back.

“So, you can see the pure fact that competition’s a wonderful thing for the game of golf. It’s a wonderful thing in life and business and sport. So we have been consistent, we are going to remain consistent. And my responsibility, as I’ve said to you before, is to keep growing and to keep making sure LIV gets more and more value built into it each and every tournament and each and every year.”

* An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story.

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