In a bigger shocker than Ben Curtis winning the 2003 British Open, the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf will merge to form one yet-to-be-named entity, according to CNBC. The deal between the sides is expected to be announced Tuesday and would end all litigation between the parties. The PGA and LIV have been wrapped up in lawsuits regarding antitrust claims and the proposed merger would stop all of those proceedings.
LIV was founded in 2021 and is backed by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. bin Salman, or MBS as he’s known, is probably most recognizable to Americans due to palling around with noted fail son Jared Kushner and being declared responsible by the CIA for the murder and dismemberment of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Several major PGA stars defected to LIV on massive contracts, although specific figures were never publicly announced. Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Dustin Johnson all reportedly left the PGA for $100 million each, with Phil Mickelson getting $200 million. Tiger Woods reportedly turned down a $900 million deal to stay loyal to the PGA. Now, that blood money appears to be the heist of the century with the leagues joining forces. As its own entity, LIV failed to win golf’s signature event, The Masters, including a choke job from Koepka this year. Few details are known about the agreement at this time, as the merger came as a surprise to many.