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Golf's leading organizations release statements on LIV Golf-PGA Tour deal

June 06, 2023
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Jamie Squire

In the wake of the parternship announced between the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and the DP World Tour, several of golf's leading organizations released statements.

Augusta National Golf Club and Masters chairman Fred Ridley wrote Tuesday, “As we have expressed previously, what makes golf special is its rich history and ability to bring people together. We are encouraged by this announcement, which represents a positive development in bringing harmony to men’s professional golf.

“Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament are—and will remain—devoted to developing the game and celebrating its many virtues.”

LIV Golf members were allowed to play in last year’s Masters, and Ridley did not announce any future sanctions regarding players of the Saudi-backed circuit regarding the tournament.

Ridley was named in LIV Golf’s antitrust complaint against the PGA Tour, with LIV players alleging Ridley discouraged players from jumping to the breakaway circuit. Additionally, Augusta National was part of the Department of Justice’s antitrust probe which was spurred by LIV Golf’s accusations against the golf ecosystem. As part of Tuesday’s surprise merger, both the tour and LIV said all pending litigation will come to an end.

R&A CEO Martin Slumbers noted: “We care deeply about golf’s future and are committed to ensuring that the sport continues to thrive for many years to come.”

Mike Whan, the USGA CEO, interestingly acknowledged he first learned of the deal when it was announced Tuesday morning: “Like most of the golf world, we were surprised by today’s PGA Tour/DP World Tour/LIV Golf news. If this proposed consolidation can help resolve the conflicts in men’s professional golf and allows all parties to focus on the incredible interest, growth, and opportunities that exist within our global game, then it’s an important step forward. We look forward to learning more about how this new approach can further drive long-term growth in our wonderful game.”

The PGA of America also commented: “We were pleased, relieved and like others, surprised to learn this morning that the division within the men's elite professional game appears to be on a pathway to resolution. While we look forward to learning further details in time, our actions will, as always, remain focused on delivering on our mission to serve PGA Professionals and grow the game. During this time of abundant opportunity in golf, we look forward to collaborating with other golf industry leaders to continue to advance our sport with our Members at the forefront of those efforts.”

Mollie Marcoux Samaan, LPGA commissioner, noted: "As we have consistently said, a fractured ecosystem is not good for the game and we look forward to learning what today's announcement means for the growth and impact of global golf. We remain focused on growing the LPGA, continuing to work with the top partners in the world to provide the best opportunity for our membership and to make sure that everything we do continues to allow us to inspire, elevate and advance opportunities for girls and women, on and off the golf course."