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LIV Golf: Will the Breakaway Tour Survive?

LIV Golf: Will the Breakaway Tour Survive?

In the world of professional golf, there is a cloud of uncertainty hovering over the future of LIV Golf. The breakaway tour, which has been making waves in recent years, is now facing discussions about its survival. With January 1st 2024 being the deadline to determine its fate, PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan has acknowledged the intensity and urgency of the situation.

As 2024 approaches, the future of LIV Golf hangs in the balance. Jay Monahan, in his capacity as the PGA Tour boss, holds the ultimate decision-making power through a newly established framework agreement with LIV’s backers, the Saudi Public Investment Fund. However, when pressed for details during the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta, Monahan refrained from revealing any leanings towards one outcome or another. Speculation about whether LIV players will be able to rejoin the PGA Tour as early as 2024 has been met with a noncommittal response, as pathways for their return are being explored in ongoing discussions.

Although some LIV players, including renowned figures like Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, have made it clear that they have no interest in returning to the traditional PGA tour, the future of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf could play a decisive role in shaping their careers. Monahan acknowledged that these are among the topics currently under discussion with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and reiterated that an answer to such questions will only emerge once the talks reach a conclusion. This “non answer”, as Monahan puts it, reflects his position at this stage, where uncertainties prevail.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding LIV Golf, officials and key figures associated with the tour remain steadfast in their belief in its future. Greg Norman, the chief executive and commissioner of LIV Golf, is resolute in his stance that the tour will endure in the evolving landscape of professional golf. With their sights set on 2024 and beyond, the LIV team continues to seek sponsors and secure television coverage for future tournaments. However, when directly asked if LIV Golf would exist in the years to come, Monahan chose not to make a definitive determination, stressing that the ongoing discussions and the framework agreement would shape the outcome.

Player frustration stemming from limited available information has been a recurring theme in discussions about LIV Golf’s future. Monahan, however, expressed confidence in the current situation. He stressed that the PGA Tour follows its established governance structure and noted the presence of six player directors on the board. While recognizing that a leader in his position may not be able to disclose extensive details, Monahan assured transparency within the framework agreement and pledged to provide more information when appropriate.

As we look ahead to the new year, the fate of LIV Golf remains uncertain. The deliberations between Jay Monahan and the Saudi Public Investment Fund hold the key to the survival of this breakaway tour. While many questions regarding the return of LIV players to the PGA Tour linger, fans and golf enthusiasts across the globe eagerly await the outcome of these crucial negotiations. Until then, LIV Golf officials continue their pursuit of sponsors and broadcasters, firm in their belief that the tour has a place in the ever-evolving world of golf.


June 2023 marked a monumental twist in this saga. The PGA Tour and LIV Golf, following intense deliberations, agreed to merge, putting an end to the protracted courtroom dramas that had unfolded between the established tour and the ambitious newcomer. Founded in 2021 with robust backing from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, LIV Golf successfully lured PGA stalwarts like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson using lucrative contracts. The animosity between the two entities reached a legal crescendo when LIV Golf, alongside several golfers, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour. The suit alleged that the PGA Tour unfairly wielded its influence to suppress competition by penalizing those who participated in LIV events. In a retaliatory move, the PGA Tour countersued, contending that LIV and the Saudi Public Investment Fund had overstepped by persuading players to breach their existing contracts.

Shedding light on the merger’s rationale, Monahan later articulated that integrating with LIV was strategic, essentially eliminating a rival. This framework agreement is particularly instrumental as it enables the PGA Tour to maintain its tax-exempt status. Once this agreement reaches its consummation, the tour is poised to transition into a profit-driven consortium comprising the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and DP World Tour.

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