Home » LIV and PGA: Unexpected Gulf alliance even puts Trump back in the game

LIV and PGA: Unexpected Gulf alliance even puts Trump back in the game

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LIV and PGA: Unexpected Gulf alliance even puts Trump back in the game
Sport LIV and PGA united

The billion dollar alliance brings Trump back into play

Donald Trump is pleased with the developments

Donald Trump is pleased with the developments

Those: pa/dpa/AP/Alex Brandon

The peace agreement between the once enemy golf tours LIV and PGA offends many. The PGA players in particular feel betrayed and many questions are still unanswered. However, the new slogan is clear: unlimited money for everyone.

FFor the elite of golfers, the US Open at the Los Angeles Country Club is coming up next week – a highlight of the season. It will be strange days, at least as far as the participants’ emotional lives are concerned. Fierce LIV opponents like Rory McIlroy meet LIV golfers like Brooks Koepka. Both parties are just getting comfortable with the idea that in the future there will again be peace between all professionals, no matter which tour they play on. The new slogan is: no more legal disputes – instead unlimited money for everyone.

The reason: Last week, the PGA Tour, the world‘s leading professional golf tour, and LIV Golf, a tour initiated by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) 2022, announced that they wanted to join forces. A company is formed under the name “NewCo”, which not only owns LIV Golf, but also the commercial rights to the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. It is led by Yasir al-Rumayyan, Governor of the PIF. The fund finances NewCo. As a non-profit organization, the PGA Tour remains responsible for the tournaments, and al-Rumayyan is a member of its board.

“I still hate LIV,” McIlroy said after merging with the PGA

World-Tour und LIV-Golf geäußert. Der Nordire hasse die LIV noch immer, hoffe aber auf ein zukünftiges Teamelement.”/>

With Rory McIlroy, one of the top stars has now spoken for the first time about the merger of the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and LIV Golf. The Northern Irishman still hates the LIV but is hoping for a future team element.

The announcement of the planned cooperation came as a huge surprise. Insiders tell of an uproar that erupted when PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan informed a larger number of players about the collaboration he had previously declared impossible for months. “It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not: The PIF and the Saudis absolutely want to spend money in golf,” summed up a visibly annoyed Rory McIlroy.

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Crucial questions have not yet been answered

One thing is certain: The disputes with LIV Golf and LIV professionals about starting authorizations and the legal basis of LIV have recently put just as much financial strain on the PGA Tour as the financial appreciation of the PGA Tour itself. It had become unavoidable as a reaction to the founding of LIV Golf. Now the cooperation with the Saudis is bringing fresh money into the coffers again.

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However, crucial questions have not yet been answered: How, for example, can LIV players such as Martin Kaymer, who received tens of millions for switching to LIV, be prevented from teeing off again in 2024 on the same terms as professionals such as McIlroy, who were loyal to the PGA Tour and resisted the petro-dollars? He feels like a “sacrificial lamb,” said McIlroy, who is on the PGA Tour board that has yet to vote on the deal. The exclusion of the LIV players from the DP World Tour (formerly: European Tour), as the DP World Tour (formerly: European Tour) has already announced, will continue to apply. How long, nobody knows. Equally unresolved is the question of whether the multi-billion dollar LIV tour will even exist beyond 2023.

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There is also a political aspect. Ex-President Donald Trump owns several golf courses. After the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and Trump’s involvement in the revolt, the PGA Tour withdrew its Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey from hosting the PGA Championship 2022. From then on, Trump focused on his golfing acquaintances from Saudi Arabia . One of them is Yasir al-Rumayyan, who will host three LIV tournaments on Trump’s golf courses in 2023.

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No wonder Trump is excited about the new golf deal: “Great news from LIV Golf. A big, wonderful and glamorous deal for the wonderful world of golf. ”It is reasonable to assume that the PGA Tour could now be more closely involved with Trump in the future, who likes to use his golf courses for political appearances.

Trump with the Saudi top manager Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is also the chairman of the English Premier League club Newcastele United

Trump with the Saudi top manager Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is also the chairman of the English Premier League club Newcastele United

Quelle: picture alliance / REUTERS

With the planned cooperation, the PGA Tour is also fueling the discussion about so-called sportswashing. To what extent is Saudi Arabia using golf to distract from its glaring human rights deficiencies? How do you reconcile the sustainability strategies of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour with the fact that the new business entity will be steered by a government fund that advocates for the future of fossil fuels?

Lots of open questions. None of them are easy to answer. But the last few days have shown that the PGA Tour finds surprising answers to problems that until now seemed almost impossible to solve.

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