Jack Nicklaus likes that golf is finally coming together globally instead of remaining pitted in a civil war.
“The Golden Bear,” like many others, reacted to the surprising landmark merger between the PGA Tour, Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) which runs the LIV Golf tour, and DP World Tour as one unified golf entity.
“The last three years have been difficult for the game and the players,” Nicklaus said, via The Palm Beach Post. “I spoke with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan this morning. He seemed pleased with the arrangement that will once again bring together the best players in the world. I agree that this is good for the game of golf.
“I also appreciate the commissioner’s comments about continuing the tradition of the Tour and the mission to support important charitable causes. I am certainly interested in seeing the details. Jay indicated that this all will happen in 2024, so very soon the proof will be in the pudding. Whatever is best for the game of golf enjoys my full support.”
Nicklaus previously took a swing at LIV golfers, saying that he didn’t “even consider those guys part of the game anymore.”
“I don’t mean that in a nasty way,” he told Golfweek during his annual Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club, also known as Jack’s Place. “This is a PGA Tour event, and we have the best field we can possibly have for a PGA Tour event for those who are eligible to be here. The other guys made a choice of what they did and where they’ve gone, and we don’t even talk about it.”
JACK NICKLAUS TAKES SWING AT LIV GOLFERS: ‘I DON’T EVEN CONSIDER THOSE GUYS PART OF THE GAME ANYMORE’
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said that negotiations for this new unity took around seven weeks to complete. It was just him and two other PGA Tour board members in a room during that time, with no players involved.
The agreement was finalized Monday night.
No one, even the players on tour, knew this was coming and many of them reacted in their own way on social media.
“I love finding out morning news on Twitter,” PGA Tour star Collin Morikawa wrote in a tweet. Fellow PGA Tour member Scott Stallings replied, “You and me both.”
LIV golfers like Brooks Koepka had some sarcastic remarks as well.
“Welfare Check on Chamblee,” he said, referring to former professional and current golf analyst, Brandel Chamblee, who has loathed LIV Golf since its existence and has been very public about it.
Chamblee called Tuesday “one of the saddest days in the history of professional golf” following news of the unexpected merger.
Monahan released a statement regarding the merger, saying it 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,” the statement read.
PGA TOUR ANNOUNCES LANDMARK MERGER WITH SAUDI-BACKED LIV GOLF
The new agreement will be merging PIF’s golf businesses into the PGA Tour and DP World Tour as 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 be adding a “capital investment” into the new entity as part of the agreement. Also, all pending litigation between these three golf powers will be dropped.
All players that left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf — Koepka, Phil Mickelson and many more — can re-apply for membership after the 2023 season is complete.
“We are pleased to move forward, in step with LIV and PIF’s world-class investing experience, and I applaud PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan for his vision and collaborative and forward-thinking approach that is not just a solution to the rift in our game, but also a commitment to taking it to new heights,” Monahan added.
“This will engender a new era in global golf, for the better.”
Nicklaus and golf fans everywhere certainly hope that’s the case.
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