PGA Tour-LIV Golf Merger Collapse: Top 3 Alarming Scenarios That May Soon Become Reality

Published 12/29/2023, 3:00 AM EST

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PIF might not be the best ally. But it’s the worst enemy to fight with. Two years into the LIV Golf era, that seems to be the popular consensus among PGA Tour pros. Even the staunchest critics of the rebel league now speak in unison for a truce over an all-guns-blazing fight. But there is always a ‘what if’. 

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What if the deal fails? What if the Senate throws a monkey wrench into the final agreement? What will be the fallout? A tooth-and-nail fight and a subsequent cold war only tell us it’s not going to augur well. Not for the PGA Tour. Not for the golf fans. A recent report also indicates the December 31 deadline will be breached. Here are three things that can happen if the belligerent parties fail to reach a detente.

Legal spending will shoot through the roof

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Last year, PIF was swift to take their arm wrestling to courtrooms via their players. In August 2022, eleven LIV Golf pros filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour for suspending their tour status. As per the tax filings, in its five-month battle with LIV Golf in 2022, the PGA Tour bled through $20.7M

Let’s also not forget the $480,000 PGA Tour spent on lobbying against the Saudi-funded league. If the deal fails to break ground, expect the legal jousting to resume, this time with full force. 

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More players will bolt to LIV Golf

What is stopping players if the deal is not reached? PGA Tour might just be in a worse situation even with the multi-billion dollar investments from SSG. What the past few months have shown is that a number of the PGA Tour pros want their loyalty to be measured against the lure of bountiful cash. 

If the PGA Tour bleeds through legal battles, there is only so much that Monahan has to offer in dollar bills. Moreover, Honda and Wells Fargo’s departure sends worrying signs. Sponsors are not happy and they can leave if the Tour keeps stretching them thin. An inevitable fallout of the weakened Tour will see more hotshots on the Saudi-backed side.

What happens to the PGA Tour signature events?

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Signature events were a warring measure for the PGA Tour. after dubbing the LIV Golf as an “irrational threat” that doesn’t worry about Return on Investment, Jay Monahan seemed to be following the same path. The Tour has increased the prize money for eight signature events, which will now carry a purse of $20M. 

As the PGA Tour-PIF Merger Draws Near, Is It Time For Jay Monahan to Relinquish His Throne?

Moreover, five of the eight signature events won’t have any cuts. Sounds suspiciously similar to what many PGA Tour pros criticize about the breakaway league. In pursuit of thwarting LIV Golf’s influence, the PGA Tour is slowly molding itself in the vein of the renegade circuit. Signature events might go through further changes. And who knows, before you blink, there is a team-play format in the signature event as well.

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Keeping LIV Golf at arm’s length doesn’t bode well for the PGA Tour. As Jon Rahm’s signing shows, a few hundred million is not a glass ceiling for the Saudi sovereign fund. 

Watch this Story | Regardless of the Sport’s Future Through the $3B PIF Deal, Florida’s Golf Community Plunges to a Huge Setback Per Reports

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

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I, Parnab Bhattacharya, am a budding golf writer at EssentiallySports. I am keen on constantly exploring my deep-rooted love for golf through my long-time passion for writing. With a strong knack for storytelling and experience in SEO content writing, I bring a unique blend of fluent writing and technical expertise.
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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