Singapore (AFP) – The Asian Tour called it “a massive stride forward” for golf Wednesday after the PGA Tour announced a shock merger with the Saudi-backed LIV circuit, ending the sport’s two-year civil war.
Tuesday’s stunning announcement took many in the sport, including players, by surprise and means that all litigation between the feuding parties is over.
The Asian Tour said the agreement “validates” its decision last year to link up with LIV Golf, which made an initial commitment of more than $200 million to the tour.
LIV is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and had sparked accusations of “sportswashing” — using sport to deflect from the country’s human rights record.
“The Asian Tour welcomed and embraced yesterday’s news concerning the landmark announcement between the Public Investment Fund, the PGA TOUR and the DP World Tour,” Asian Tour commissioner and chief executive Cho Minn Thant said.
“This is a massive stride forward for the game and a great result for all parties concerned: the fans, brands, broadcasters, the tours and their membership.
“This hugely significant development validates our well-documented decision to collaborate with Golf Saudi and LIV Golf to elevate the Asian Tour’s standing in the game.”
Separately, the PGA of Australia said it had held talks with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour — formerly the European Tour — overnight to “discuss the details of the agreement”.
“These discussions are ongoing as we continue to ensure any new arrangements deliver positive benefits to our tour, all of our members, the entire Australasian golfing community and those who love the game,” said chief executive Gavin Kirkman.