A complete timeline of LIV Golf, leading up to PGA Tour merger

Some shocking news came down Tuesday morning as the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf League agreed on a partnership deal to “unify men’s professional golf.”

“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “This transformational partnership recognizes the immeasurable strength of the PGA Tour’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model and combines with it the DP World Tour and LIV – including the team golf concept – to create an organization that will benefit golf’s players, commercial and charitable partners and fans.”

Let’s take a look at the history of LIV Golf, and how everything happened that led to this moment through extensive Golfweek reporting on the topic.

October 2021: The plans are laid out

PGA: QBE Shootout
PGA: QBE Shootout

On Wednesday, multiple sources confirmed to Golfweek that a private meeting with golf media members took place to outline plans for a new Saudi Arabia-backed golf series with Greg Norman as the expected commissioner.

The five people spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the series were not to be officially announced until next week. However, on Friday morning news officially dropped that organizers are moving forward with plans.

ESPN’s Bob Harig and others reported on Friday that Norman, 66, announced his association with LIV Golf Enterprises, backed by the Public Investment Fund, which operates on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia. Norman will be chief operating officer of the enterprise, as well as commissioner of the new league.

The new series hopes to debut in the spring of 2022.

Read the full story here.

Written by Tim Schmitt

March 2022: Schedule is announced

Norman re-emerged by sending a letter to players stating the league backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund was not on its last breath. The CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf Investments, which is funded by the Saudis, announced the league that would rival the PGA Tour has serious teeth.

Starting in June, the LIV Golf Invitational Series will begin and feature eight events and consist of individual and team play with prize money reaching $255 million. The first event will be played June 9-11 at Centurion Golf Club in London; the first seven events will have $20 million purses with an additional $5 million split among the top three teams each week.

Read the full story here.

Written by Steve DiMeglio

May 10th, 2022: PGA Tour denies players permission to play in London, and Norman responds

The Players Championship 2022
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks to the media during a news conference ahead of the 2022 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour has denied its members permission to play in the Saudi-funded golf tournament in London next month. The denials were sent to players who had sought permission late Tuesday afternoon.

It had been expected that the PGA Tour would grant waivers for the LIV Golf Invitational event near London because of a precedent allowing players limited releases for overseas events. (All members are required to seek a conflicting event release to compete in non-Tour events.)

However, it is thought the decision is based on a belief that the event in the U.K. is effectively part of a rival series. LIV Golf, which is funded by the Saudi Arabian regime, has announced a schedule of eight tournaments — the second of which is due to be played July 1-3 in Portland, Oregon — with plans for more to come.

A PGA Tour spokesperson declined to confirm any details regarding what was communicated to members on the releases, but Golfweek obtained the letter sent to PGA Tour members via email regarding the decision on release requests.

“We have notified those who have applied that their request has been declined in accordance with the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations. As such, Tour members are not authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League’s London event under our Regulations,” said the letter signed by PGA Tour Executive Vice President Tyler Dennis. “As a membership organization, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the PGA Tour and its players.”

“Sadly, the PGA Tour seems intent on denying professional golfers their right to play golf, unless it’s exclusively in a PGA Tour tournament. This is particularly disappointing in light of the Tour’s non-profit status, where its mission is purportedly ‘to promote the common interests of professional tournament golfers,’” said LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman via a statement. “Instead, the Tour is intent on perpetuating its illegal monopoly of what should be a free and open market.  The Tour’s action is anti-golfer, anti-fan, and anti-competitive. But no matter what obstacles the PGA Tour puts in our way, we will not be stopped. We will continue to give players options that promote the great game of golf globally.”

Read the full story here.

Written by Eamon Lynch

May 31, 2022: London field announced, Dustin Johnson headlines

After a slight delay, we finally learned who is heading to London for the LIV Golf Series opener on June 9–11 at the Centurion Golf Club.

Among those in the field for the debut event for the outfit fronted by Greg Norman and backed by the Saudis is Dustin Johnson, a former No. 1 player in the world who has a pair of majors under his belt. LIV officials had previously insisted the field would be announced last Friday — which is also the day each week the PGA Tour announces fields — but the news wasn’t released until Tuesday night.

Others listed in the field include Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter and Talor Gooch. Kevin Na and Lee Westwood, long rumored to be on the roster, were also announced as part of the group.

Phil Mickelson was not in the field. but there is still a chance he’s added before the event begins. Also, a number of players will be added after an International Series event this week being played in London.

Read the full story here.

Written by Tim Schmitt

June 6, 2022: Mickelson returns

2022 LIV Golf London
Phil Mickelson takes questions during a press conference ahead of the 2022 LIV Golf Invitational Series event at The Centurion Club north of London. (Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson’s name wasn’t on the initial list of players for this week’s LIV Golf Invitational Series opener in London, but did you really think Lefty would miss out?

On Monday, hours after announcing its plans to stream the inaugural event at Centurion Club outside London, June 9-11, it was also announced that Mickelson would be ending his self-imposed hiatus and teeing it up alongside Dustin Johnson, Kevin Na and the rest of the LIV Golf field.

Mickelson released a statement on Twitter where he started by apologizing to people he offended with his comments and praised his “humbling” time away.

“I realize I still have a long way to go but I’m embracing the work ahead. I’m ready to come back to play the game I love but after 32 years, this new path is a fresh start, one that is exciting for me at this stage of my career and is clearly transformative, not just for myself, but ideally for the game and my peers,” wrote Mickelson. “I also love the progressive format and I think it will be exciting for fans. Just as importantly, it will provide balance, allowing me to focus on a healthier approach to life and on and off the course. I am incredibly grateful for what this game and the PGA Tour has given me. I would like to think that I have given back as well but now I’m excited about this new opportunity. I’m thrilled to begin with LIV Golf and I appreciate everyone involved.”

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

June 9, 2022: Commissioner Monahan suspends defectors

In a memo sent to members of the PGA Tour on Thursday, commissioner Jay Monahan was true to his word toward players who opt to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

You are no longer welcome on the PGA Tour.

“We have followed the Tournament Regulations from start to finish in responding to those players who have decided to turn their backs on the PGA Tour by willfully violating a regulation,” Monahan wrote in the memo obtained by Golfweek. “Simultaneous to you receiving this memo, the players are being notified that they are suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play, including the Presidents Cup.

“This also applies to all tours sanctioned by the PGA Tour: the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamérica.”

The memo was sent shortly after the first tee shots were hit in London in the first LIV Golf Invitational Series events.

Among those suspended were Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Matt Jones. Also suspended were players who have resigned their membership, including Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

Read the full story here.

Written by Steve DiMeglio

June 11, 2022: Charl Schwartzel wins first LIV Golf event

Charl Schwartzel started Saturday with a comfortable lead. He finished it with nerves that were a bit more frayed, but with almost $5 million to help deal with any anxiety.

The South African made a double bogey on No. 12 and limped home with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 18, but still managed a one-stroke victory in the LIV Golf Invitational Series inaugural event at London’s Centurion Club.

Read the full story here.

Written by Tim Schmitt

June 21, 2022: Brooks Koepka signs with LIV Golf

LIV Golf Portland
Brooks Koepka walks towards the sixth fairway during the first round of the LIV Golf tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. (Photo: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

After an outburst where he accused media members of putting a black cloud over the U.S. Open by talking so much about the LIV Golf Invitational Series, Brooks Koepka is reportedly making the move to the Saudi-backed, Greg Norman-led breakaway league, according to the Telegraph and Sky Sports.

He is expected to make his debut on the new circuit at its second event next week at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland, Oregon.

Koepka joins the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, and Abraham Ancer as more big names continue to jump ship for a massive payday.

Read the full story here.

Written by Riley Hamel

June 22, 2022: Monahan's press conference at the Travelers Championship

On a soggy Wednesday afternoon, Monahan was in the media center to talk about something else: the threat the LIV Golf Series poses to the PGA Tour and what the tour plans to do moving forward.

As it turns out, Monahan spoke for just over 40 minutes and outlined a new structure the PGA Tour plans to implement soon.

Here are five key takeaways from his news conference.

  1. FedEx Cup playoff season gets revised for 2023

  2. The calendar-based season returns

  3. Massive purse increases at eight events

  4. No free lunch on the PGA Tour

  5. For players joining the LIV Series, there’s no coming back

Read the full story here.

Written by David Dusek

August 2, 2022: Phil Mickelson among 11 LIV Golf players filing lawsuit against PGA Tour

Talk of lawsuits involving the breakaway Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series and the PGA Tour has been just that. Until now.

As first reported in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, 11 LIV golfers are suing to challenge their PGA Tour suspensions.

Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are among the 11 suing the Tour.

Three other LIV golfers—Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford—are a part of the lawsuit because they are seeking a temporary restraining order so that they can play in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.

The other golfers involved are Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter and Peter Uihlein.

Read the full story here.

Written by Todd Kelly

August 16, 2022: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy host players only meeting at BMW Championship

Tiger Woods is headed to the BMW Championship this week but not to play golf. He’s going instead to meet with a group of PGA Tour players to discuss the continued encroachment of the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

According to reports by the Fire Pit Collective and ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Woods will be at Wilmington Country Club on Tuesday to meet with a good number of the top-20 ranked players in the world, two days before the first round of the second FedEx Cup Playoffs tournament.

One player who was invited told ESPN the meeting will include “influential PGA Tour members who haven’t defected to LIV Golf.”

There is also a PGA Tour Players Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday. Woods’ meeting, according to ESPN, will take place after that. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has a meeting with Tour players Wednesday.

Read the full story here.

Written by Todd Kelly

August 30, 2022: Open champion Cam Smith signs with LIV Golf

Cameron Smith of Australia during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational – Boston at The Oaks golf course at The International on September 01, 2022, in Bolton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Cameron Smith of Australia during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational – Boston at The Oaks golf course at The International on September 01, 2022, in Bolton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour made some changes and picked up some momentum in its battle with LIV Golf, but the new series will feature some new players at its next event.

On Tuesday, the upstart circuit led by Greg Norman and backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia announced six golfers would be taking their talents to the new series: Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Marc Leishman, Harold Varner III, Cameron Tringale and Anirban Lahiri.

The new additions mean LIV Golf now has six of the top 30 players on the Official World Golf Ranking (as of Aug. 21) as it prepares to host its fourth event at the International, Sept. 2-4, near Boston.

When asked about his reported interest in LIV Golf after his Open Championship victory, Cameron Smith said, “I don’t know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”

Reports then broke the week of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind that he was taking his talents to LIV Golf, but Smith didn’t confirm or deny the news.

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

September 28, 2022: Jay Monahan shoots down idea of PGA Tour, LIV Golf coexisting

Phil Mickelson addressed the ongoing battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, saying “the best solution is for us to come together.”

After PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan’s recent interview with ESPN, Lefty better not hold his breath. Monahan addressed everything from the Presidents Cup to Tiger Woods’ leadership amid the Tour’s struggles against the upstart circuit led by Greg Norman and backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Most importantly, he flat-out said LIV Golf and the PGA Tour cannot work together or coexist.

“I think it’s impractical when you look at the fact that certain players have sued the PGA Tour, their employer has sued the PGA Tour,” said Monahan. “It’s not in the cards. It hasn’t been in the cards and it’s not in the cards. I think we’ve been pretty consistent on that front.”

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

October 5, 2022: LIV Golf adds 'strategic alliance' with developmental MENA Tour in effort to gain Official World Golf Ranking points

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour are no longer the sole strategic allegiance in professional golf.

The MENA Tour (Middle East and North Africa) announced its own “strategic alliance” with LIV Golf, the upstart circuit led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. As LIV Golf continues its quest for Official World Golf Ranking points, its events will now be sanctioned by the Dubai-based developmental tour, which is recognized by the OWGR.

“We are taking this mutually beneficial action to support the game at the developmental level and because of the importance and fairness of LIV golfers qualifying for OWGR points,” said LIV Golf President and COO, Atul Khosla. “We’re pleased to create pathways that give more opportunities for young players, while also giving fans rankings that include all the world’s best golfers.”

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

October 6, 2022: LIV Golf members will not earn Official World Golf Ranking points in Bangkok or Jeddah, OWGR reviewing changes to MENA Tour

Not so fast, LIV Golf, says the Official World Golf Ranking.

In its quest to earn world ranking points in its events, LIV Golf officials announced a ‘strategic alliance’ with the MENA Tour (Middle East and North Africa). The goal was for LIV’s events to be sanctioned by the Dubai-based developmental tour, which is recognized by the OWGR.

On Thursday, officials from the OWGR released a statement of their own, announcing that LIV Golf members wouldn’t be receiving OWGR points for its next two events, this week in Bangkok and next week in Jeddah.

The OWGR said it received communication detailing significant changes to the MENA Tour’s membership structure along with an outline of the initial series of tournaments in the 2022-23 MENA Tour season on Wednesday, and those changes included the first two tournaments of the series, and only on the schedule thus far, were the next two LIV Golf events.

“A review of the changes to the MENA Tour is now underway by the OWGR,” the release said. “Notice of these changes given by the MENA Tour is insufficient to allow OWGR to conduct the customary necessary review ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok (Oct. 7-9) and LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah (Oct. 14-16).

Read the full story here.

Written by Cameron Jourdan

October 29, 2022: R&A will not ban eligible LIV players from 2023 Open

2022 Open Championship
2022 Open Championship

The 151st Open Championship is in 264 days. We’re a long way from the opening tee shot at Royal Liverpool, a venue last visited in 2014 where now world No. 1 Rory McIlroy captured his Claret Jug.

However, we won’t have to wait that long to hear the R&A’s plans for LIV Golf members.

Back in July, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said they had no plans to ban LIV players saying: “Let me be very clear. That’s not on our agenda.”

Fast forward three months and his message remains the same.

“We’ll go public in January/February with what we are going to do with regard to LIV golfers. But if you want a guide, go back to what I said in July. We’re not banning anyone. We are not going to betray 150 years of history and have the Open not be open,” Slumbers told Golf Digest this week at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship hosted by the R&A, the Asia-Pacific Golf Federation and the Masters.

Read the full story here.

Written by Riley Hamel

October 30, 2022: Dustin Johnson leads 4Aces GC to first LIV championship

LIV Golf Miami
Team Captain Dustin Johnson of 4 Aces GC sprays champagne on Team Captain Cameron Smith of Punch GC on the podium after the team championship stroke-play round of the LIV Golf Invitational – Miami at Trump National Doral Miami on October 30, 2022, in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Four teams were left standing for Sunday’s final round of the LIV Golf Team Championship and it was Dustin Johnson’s 4Aces GC who came out on top.

Louis Oosthuizen’s Stinger GC were out of the picture for the majority of the day, leaving the battle for the top three to the 4Aces, Cameron Smith’s Punch GC and Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC. The latter fell off later in the round, leaving a two-way race to the finish.

The 4Aces led by one stroke with one hole to play before Punch’s Marc Leishman tied the 4Aces at 6 under with a late birdie, just his second of the day. Patrick Reed then delivered a birdie on his final hole to reclaim the lead at 7 under and eventually earn the win after his teammate Johnson made par on the last.

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

November 15, 2022: Rory McIlroy says 'Greg (Norman) needs to go'

After winning the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup in August for the third time in his career, Rory McIlroy is in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship for a chance to sweep the season-long titles on both pro tours.

Despite being winless on the European circuit, McIlroy leads the DP World Tour Rankings thanks to three straight top fives after his win in Atlanta. Over 10 starts, McIlroy has seven top-five finishes with his worst performance coming in January at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (T-12).

Just a ridiculous year.

On top of his success on the course in 2022, McIlroy has been the loudest voice when it’s come to the PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf battle. However, his tone has changed over the last few months as he’s waiting for the two leagues to sit down, settle the dispute and come to an arrangement for the betterment of the game.

On Tuesday, he laid out a plan for that to happen.

“Greg (Norman) needs to go. He needs to exit stage left,” McIlroy said. “He’s made his mark but I think now is the right time to say you’ve got this thing off the ground but no one’s going to talk unless there’s an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences.”

On Nov. 10, The Telegraph reported LIV was looking to replace Norman with former TaylorMade CEO Mark King. LIV quickly denied the report.

Read the full story here.

Written by Riley Hamel

November 29, 2022: Tiger Woods also says Greg Norman has to go

Genesis Invitational 2022
Tiger Woods speaks during a news conference at Riviera Country Club ahead of the 2022 Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles. (Photo: Ryan Kang/Associated Press)

Tiger Woods addressed the media ahead of his 2022 Hero World Challenge – where he withdrew due to plantar fasciitis – and was naturally peppered with questions regarding Greg Norman, LIV Golf and the future of professional golf itself.

The 15-time major champion didn’t hold back.

“I think (Greg Norman) has to go, first of all,” said Woods on Tuesday from Albany in the Bahamas, “and then obviously the litigation against us and then our countersuit against them. Those would then have to be at a stay as well, then we can talk, we can all talk freely.

“Right now as it is, not right now, not with their leadership, not with Greg there and his animosity towards the tour itself. I don’t see that happening,” said Woods of LIV and the PGA Tour coexisting. “But why would you change anything if you’ve got a lawsuit against you? They sued us first.”

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

December 16, 2022: LIV Golf's Chief Operating Officer Atul Khosla resigns

Atul Khosla, LIV Golf’s Chief Operating Officer, has stepped down from his post, according to The New York Times, leaving the Saudi-backed circuit without one of its most experienced sports executives.

Despite the ever-looming presence of Greg Norman as the league’s face and voice, Khosla was believed to be the man to lead the breakaway organization toward legitimacy in the sports world.

Before he served as LIV’s COO, Khosla was the chief corporate development and brand officer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I look forward to being a part of the LIV Golf Investments team to help bring this vision to life and transform the game into an international sport,” Khosla said in a release after his hiring.

Read the full story here.

Written by Riley Hamel

December 20, 2022: Augusta National to allow eligible LIV players at 2023 Masters

2023 Masters
A detailed view of the flag on the third hole during a practice round for The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Network

Invitations for the 2023 Masters will be hitting the mail shortly for Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed.

The past champions who have departed for LIV Golf, will be welcomed to the field at the first major, Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley confirmed on Tuesday.

“We will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament,” Ridley wrote. “Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it. Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.”

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Schupak

January 19, 2023: LIV Golf, The CW Network agree on multi-year TV deal

Early this week, rumors began to swirl that LIV Golf was finally in agreement to come to a TV near you. David Feherty, who joined the Saudi-backed league last year, hinted at the upcoming deal during a show in Florida.

Now, the news becomes official.

The CW Network and LIV have agreed on a multi-year broadcast deal. The CW will air all 14 events throughout next season as well as offer a streaming option through its app.

This is a momentous day for LIV Golf as this partnership is about more than just media rights. The CW will provide accessibility for our fans and maximum exposure for our athletes and partners as their reach includes more than 120 million households across the United States,” said Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, in a release. “We’re very proud to note how consequential it is that a league that has only existed for one year has secured a full broadcast deal in its debut full league season.”

Read the full story here.

Written by Riley Hamel

January 26, 2023: Jonathan Grella resigns as chief communications officer

The changes keep coming for LIV Golf’s leadership.

Golfweek confirmed Thursday that Jonathan Grella is no longer serving as the upstart circuit’s chief communications officer. Golf Digest was first to report.

Grella is the fourth member of a senior leadership position to leave his role in the three months since LIV concluded its inaugural season in October, joining Majed Al Sorour (who will remain a board member), Atul Khosla (chief operating officer) and Matt Goodman (president of franchises).

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

February 17, 2023: LIV Golf's anti-trust lawsuit against PGA Tour handed severe blow in federal court

With a second season of LIV Golf just days from the starting line, a federal judge has dealt a blow to the group that financially supports the upstart league, one that could radically change the fledgling circuit’s anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

Although LIV Golf attorneys have been attempting to shed light on the PGA Tour’s organizational structure and financial dealings, the head of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund tried to avoid the same fate, claiming “sovereign immunity” during a November filing.

But a federal judge ruled on Thursday that the PIF and its governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan must provide the same information, a move that’s expected to slow the aggressiveness of any suit, and might even halt it completely. It’s uncertain if Saudi officials will want to divulge such information.

Read the full story here.

Written by Tim Schmitt

March 1, 2023: PGA Tour approves radical schedule changes, reducing fields in elevated events and ending cuts

PGA Tour headquarters
PGA Tour headquarters

The PGA Tour board on Tuesday night ratified a radical new approach for the 2024 schedule that will see reduced fields in the new designated events and the removal of the 36-hole cut.

Fields in designated events will be reduced to between 70 and 78 players with no halfway cut. The changes will not apply to all of the elevated events— the majors, the Players Championship and the FedEx Cup playoff tournaments will be unaffected.

Two sources familiar with the details confirmed the changes to Golfweek.

Read the full story here.

Written by Eamon Lynch

May 3, 2023: Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Richard Bland officially resign from DP World Tour

Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Richard Bland have officially resigned from the DP World Tour, according to a news release from the European circuit.

The players “were sanctioned for serious breaches of the Tour’s Conflicting Tournament Regulation committed last June,” according to the release.

“The DP World Tour would like to take this opportunity to thank the four players for the contribution they have made to the Tour and in particular to Sergio, Ian and Lee for the significant part they have played in Europe’s success in the Ryder Cup over many years.

“Their resignations, however, along with the sanctions imposed upon them, are a consequence of their own choices.

“As we have consistently maintained throughout the past year, the Tour has a responsibility to its entire membership to administer the member regulations which each player signs up to. These regulations are in place to protect the collective interests of all DP World Tour members.”

Read the full story here.

Written by Riley Hamel and Cameron Jourdan

May 4, 2023: U.S. Department of Justice investigating former President Donald Trump’s ties to LIV Golf amid larger probe

2023 LIV Golf DC
2023 LIV Golf DC

The United States Department of Justice is ramping up its investigation into how former President Donald Trump has handled classified documents since his time in office ended. But what does that have to do with golf?

According to a New York Times report, amid the larger investigation the DOJ has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for records regarding LIV Golf and President Trump’s ties to the upstart circuit financially backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

In LIV Golf’s inaugural season last year, Trump National Bedminster and Trump National Doral both hosted events. The pair of properties will do so again in 2023, as will his resort in Potomac Falls, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C.

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

May 17, 2023: Phil Mickelson, other LIV Golf players interviewed for Justice Department's PGA Tour investigation

Phil Mickelson is one of a handful of players who have been interviewed with regard to the United States Department of Justice’s antitrust investigation of the PGA Tour.

According to a New York Times report, Mickelson and fellow LIV Golf League players Bryson DeChambeau and Sergio Garcia have all been interviewed. The Justice Department reportedly met with PGA Tour lawyers earlier this week in Washington, D.C., but the timeline for the review remains unclear.

Last July news broke that the Department of Justice was investigating whether the Tour engaged in anticompetitive behavior against Greg Norman-led and Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf. The upstart circuit has long been criticized as another way for the Saudi government to sportswash its human rights record via its Public Investment Fund.

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

May 18, 2023: Judge grants LIV Golf stay of discovery pending appeal, rules against PGA Tour in latest filing

LIV Golf picked up a rare win in its antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

Last month Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled in the U.S. Northern District of California court that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund – as well as its governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan were both subject to discovery and depositions in the United States, a major blow to LIV’s legal team.

LIV’s lawyers then appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in order to further delay the discovery process. On Wednesday, Judge Freeman granted the PIF and Al-Rumayyan’s motion for a stay of discovery pending the appeal, a decision that could take 1-2 years according to Jodi Balsam, a professor at Brooklyn Law School and former counsel for the NFL.

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

June 6, 2023: PGA Tour merges with Saudi Arabia-backed rival LIV Golf to form new global golf entity

The world of professional golf as we know it has now officially changed.

On Tuesday the PGA Tour announced groundbreaking news that it formed a new commercial entity with the goal of unifying golf with the help of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

From the PGA Tour’s release: “The parties have signed an agreement that combines PIF’s golf-related commercial businesses and rights (including LIV Golf) with the commercial businesses and rights of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour into a new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that delivers maximum excitement and competition among the game’s best players.”

PIF will make an investment into the unnamed new entity “to facilitate its growth and success” and will initially be the exclusive investor alongside the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and the DP World Tour. PIF will also have the exclusive right to further invest in the new entity, including a right of first refusal on any new capital that may be invested in the entity.

The PGA Tour will appoint a majority of the Board and hold a majority voting interest in the new entity. The Board of Directors of the new entity will include Al-Rumayyan as Chairman and Monahan as Chief Executive Officer.

Read the full story here.

Written by Adam Woodard

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek