The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and rival LIV Golf have brought an end to more than a year of bitter conflict in the sport by announcing a deal to unify.
The shock move will see the creation of a new, yet-to-be-named entity that combines the commercial businesses and rights of the three tours, which look set to continue in their current form.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which bankrolled the challenger LIV circuit, will make an unspecified capital investment into the new business and take a seat on the board.
PIF, which also majority owns Premier League football club Newcastle United, will have first option on any future investments but the PGA Tour will have the biggest say on the new board.
It ends the long-running legal wrangling between the parties and opens the door for LIV Golf players to return to PGA and DP World Tour events.
The peace deal could also see LIV Golf players eligible again for the Ryder Cup, but the merger is not taking effect until 2024 so may come too late for this year’s contest between Europe and the USA.
“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 recognises 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 organisation that will benefit golf’s players, commercial and charitable partners and fans.
“Going forward, fans can be confident that we will, collectively, deliver on the promise we’ve always made – to promote competition of the best in professional golf and that we are committed to securing and driving the game’s future.”
PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who also serves as Newcastle chairman, called it “a very exciting day for this special game and the people it touches around the world.
“We are proud to partner with the PGA Tour to leverage PIF’s unparalleled success and track record of unlocking value and bringing innovation and global best practices to business and sectors worldwide.
“We are committed to unifying, promoting and growing the game of golf around the world and offering the highest-quality product to the many millions of long-time fans globally, while cultivating new fans.”
The new entity “will work to ensure a cohesive schedule of events that will be exciting for fans, sponsors and all stakeholders”, the tours said in a joint statement.
Having spent the past year decrying LIV Golf, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF will now “work together to best feature and grow team golf going forward”.
DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “This is a momentous day. We are delighted to be able to not only reignite our relationship with PIF, but also to have the opportunity to build on our current strategic alliance partnership with the PGA Tour. Together we will be stronger than ever and well positioned to continue to bring the game to all corners of the globe.”