PGA Tour boss wants to ‘shut down’ LIV Golf as merger plans thrown into doubt

It was anticipated that the PGA Tour would come to a deal with their competitors at the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, but there is growing skepticism that the arrangement wouldn’t be difficult.

It’s been reported that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wants to “shut down” their competitors at LIV Golf, as concerns about the proposed deal with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) are raising doubts.

Since June 2022, when the breakaway league first appeared on the scene, the PGA Tour and LIV have been at odds. But a year after LIV’s founding, the Tour started talks with PIF on a framework agreement, seemingly signaling the end of the civil war.

However, in recent weeks, the PGA Tour failed to meet the first deadline for finalizing a deal with the Saudi fund and instead decided to merge with the Strategic Sports Group (SSG), which has promised to contribute £2.4 billion ($3 billion) to the circuit’s new organization.

Although a return plan was supposed to be offered to LIV players as part of the original framework agreement, a Golf Digest report claims that this plan is reportedly near the bottom of the negotiation priority list. According to the report, Monahan has no plans to include LIV in the Tour schedule, but he is reportedly open to working with players like Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm in some capacity.

In light of Rory McIlroy’s remarks, giving LIV stars a path back to the PGA Tour has gained a lot of attention in recent weeks. McIlroy had previously declared himself to be among the leading critics of LIV and had sworn allegiance to the PGA Tour.

The Northern Irishman has since changed his mind in response to the proposed peace agreement, and he would be willing to allow Rahm and company to return to the PGA Tour without facing consequences. At Pebble Beach, McIlroy stated, “Let them come back if people still have eligibility on this tour and they want to come back and play or you want to try and do something.”

“I believe it’s difficult to punish people. I disagree that there ought to be a penalty. Clearly, I’ve had second thoughts about that. I understand the state of golf, and I also understand that it is detrimental to both parties to have a diminished PGA Tour, LIV Tour, or anything else.

“For the benefit of the game, it would be much better to be together and move forward together.” However, not everyone shares McIlroy’s viewpoint; several of his fellow Tour players are against the free path back for LIV Golf subscribers.

“I would say that there’s a handful of players on LIV that would make the tour a better place, but I’m definitely not in the agreement that they should just be able to come back that easily,” asserted Justin Thomas, a man who disagrees with McIlroy.

“I believe that many of us have made very difficult decisions, whether they were based on sticking to our convictions or our word, or simply not making that choice. I also fully realize that times are changing and improving. We don’t need to persuade you of the reasons why we would struggle with it; I would struggle with it and I believe many guys would as well.”

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