Golfer taking a swing

What does golf’s future hold after PGA DP World and LIV merger?

Members of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour were rocked by the decision of the organisations to merge with LIV Golf.

The Saudi-backed league caused a major ruckus to the sport by attracting some of the biggest names to the breakaway competition.

Despite major issues amid the launch of LIV, now the three factions have merged, representing a drastic change in principles from the hierarchies of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

What does it mean?

Players from the PGA and DP World Tour have already made their intentions clear, and it will make for an interesting spectacle when all of the leading players converge for the 2023 US Open.

Koepka became the first LIV player to win a major after lifting the 2023 PGA Championship, and he is backed at 9/1 in the US Open odds to secure successive major victories.

Koepka’s triumph was a huge moment for LIV to prove that their golfers did not need the rigours of the PGA Tour to produce their best on the grand stages.

It’ll be interesting to see whether those LIV players are forced to eat humble pie and return to a regular schedule of tournaments. 

Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm have been constant presences at the top of the golf betting odds for PGA Tour events since the departures of Johnson and Koepka among others.

It certainly adds gravitas back to those Tour events to have the LIV stars back into the fold along with the possibility of greater payouts for the small tournaments on the schedule.

The players who remained loyal to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour will undoubtedly be furious with the hierarchy after turning down significant sums to join LIV.

If the PGA Tour and DP World Tour were hopeful that they would be able to draw a line under the issue once and for all to bring back unity to the game, the reaction of their players and the rest of the sporting world has becalmed those expectations.

There is a strong possibility that the chasm created by LIV could be further expanded and perhaps even splintered forever.

Lack of trust?

With Tiger Woods all but heading off into the sunset, golf needs its stars more than ever to maintain its standing in the sporting world.

Keeping McIlroy, Rahm and Scheffler away from the riches of the LIV was a huge moment for the PGA Tour, protecting the integrity of the organisation and maintaining its place as the standout competition for all golfers to aspire.

Producing a 180-degree decision a year later is a seismic move and appears to have overlooked the decision that those golfers made to remain loyal.

The level of trust between the PGA and its stars is now on thin ground, to say the least.

The game is poised for another tumultuous year as the PGA Tour and LIV Golf must configure a way for the breakaway league and players to return to the fold.

If the PGA need concessions from their stars, it will not be an easy conversation.

Although the organisation may feel the battle for golf has ended with their deal, it may only just be beginning.

The only hope they have is that a deal can be struck to keep all parties happy, ensuring that the players who remained faithful and did not explore outside riches are equally rewarded as their LIV counterparts.

But considering the bad blood all around, it will take a substantial effort from all involved to bring golf back together for good.

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