The ‘historic’ day for golf that would have seen The PGA Tour and DP World Tour merge with LIV Golf has been delayed as an agreement can’t be reached. 

A deadline to complete the merger was set for 31 December back in June of this year in what was a surprising announcement made by the PGA Tour at the time, due to years of hostility between the two golf organisations. 

A possible agreement between the organisations was complicated even more by the emergence of interest from private equity firms. The PGA Tour announced on 10 December that it had started investment discussions with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), an amalgamation of US sports owners. 

It was reported that SSG would infuse the PGA Tour with an investment of $3b in return for equity according to ESPN. This investment would boost the PGA but would not be the solution to their biggest problem, that being LIV Golf. 

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF)-backed golf tour, has caused the PGA Tour a constant headache since emerging onto the golf scene in 2021. 

Since the organisation’s arrival, the PGA has struggled to compete with LIV Golf as several top players have been lured to Saudi Arabia for its huge prize funds such as Masters title holder Jon Rahm

Rahm was reportedly set to earn upwards of £450m in a deal with LIV Golf, however he wanted to keep his membership to the PGA and DP World Tour. 

Despite the delay PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, sent a memo to players that said ‘meaningful progress’ has been made between the PGA Tour and SSG. Monahan also added: “We also continue our active and productive conversations with PIF and the DP World Tour.

“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. 

Although a new deadline since the delay has not yet been made, Monahan said: “Our goal for 2024 is to reach agreements with SSG, PIF and the DP World Tour, bringing them on board as minority co-investors in PGA Tour Enterprises.”

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