In a recent memo sent to players, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan disclosed that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf are actively working to extend the proposed merger deadline, originally set for December 31, 2023. The memo, obtained by CNBC, cites significant progress in negotiations as the primary reason for the requested extension.
“While we had initially set a deadline of December 31, 2023, to reach an agreement, we are working to extend our negotiations into next year based on the progress we have made to date,” Monahan stated in the memo.
The delay marks the latest development in a complex and controversial saga involving the PGA Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund-backed LIV Golf. The proposed merger has been met with division among players and the potential to bring about substantial changes to professional golf if successfully completed.
Commissioner Monahan outlined the PGA Tour’s goal for 2024, which is to secure agreements with key entities such as Strategic Sports Group, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and the DP World Tour. These agreements would see these groups becoming minority co-investors in PGA Tour Enterprises.
Recent announcements from the PGA Tour revealed that negotiations with Strategic Sports Group, a coalition of U.S. investors led by Fenway Sports Group, are in the final stages. Monahan expressed optimism about the progress, stating that the parties have made “meaningful progress,” and the tour has provided the requested due diligence information to SSG.
“These partnerships will allow us to unify, innovate, and invest in the game for the benefit of players, fans, and sponsors,” Monahan emphasized.
A formal decision on the proposed merger is expected to be made by PGA Tour and LIV Golf ahead of the Masters tournament in April, according to reports from The Telegraph, which first reported the extension.
The agreement between the competing golf leagues, announced in June, sent shockwaves through the global golf community. It has raised questions about competition and human rights considerations. Under the proposed structure, the PGA Tour would maintain a permanent controlling interest in the new entity’s board of directors.