PGA Tour reveals long-term unity deal in retaliation to Saudi LIV takeover

McIlroy 'pretty sure' Saudi-backed breakaway would not happen

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The PGA Tour has announced a new 13-year ‘joint venture partnership’ with the DP World Tour in response to the growing threat brought on by the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series. The agreement—which will run until 2035—will serve as an add-on to the ‘Strategic Alliance’ the teams fostered in late 2020.

The unification between the two Tours will hope to ‘develop players to compete at the pinnacle of men’s professional golf’. It comes after a swathe of talent previously associated with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour opted to jump ship and join the more lucrative LIV Series.

Prize funds on the DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) will grow annually for the next five years as part of the arrangement. Golfers on both Tours will also receive ‘additional competitive opportunities’, while organisers also look to establish a ‘clearly defined pathway for top players’.

“It was clear from the outset that our Strategic Partnership with the European Tour Group was a powerful agreement for both sides, and we are thrilled with today’s announcement of this expanded partnership,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in a statement on Tuesday.

READ MORE: PGA Tour fight back over Saudi takeover as lucrative new tournament announced

“We will continue to collaborate on a global schedule and key commercial areas as we draw our organizations and memberships even closer together while innovating to provide the most entertaining and compelling golf possible to fans around the world. On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I want to credit and commend [DP World Tour CEO] Keith Pelley and his team at the European Tour Group for their incredible commitment to this effort.”

The top 10 finishers in the DP World Tour rankings will now also receive PGA Tour pro cards for the following season as the links between the two competitions tighten. Pelley described the update as a “natural extension” of their existing agreement, adding Tuesday’s announcement “strengthens both Tours for the betterment of both memberships.”

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Golf’s establishment is under pressure to foster support after the LIV Golf Invitational Series got underway eith the first of eight events earlier in June. Charl Schwartzel took home a record-breaking $4.75million (£3.9m) payday after winning both individual and team competitions.

Matthew Wolff, Eugenio Chacarra and Carlos Ortiz were recently confirmed as some of the latest names leaving the PGA Tour for its Saudi-backed rival. That follows the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau as the divide between golf’s biggest names continues to widen.

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