The PGA Tour x LIV Golf merger has not yet been made totally official, but it was agreed to. Before it becomes official and takes place next season, it is subject to being reviewed by the US Senate and other bodies of government.
PGA Tour officials are set to meet with the Senate and discuss the merger, but LIV Golf leaders Greg Norman and Yasir Al-Rumayyan declined to participate due to scheduling conflicts. The Senate doesn't want to let them avoid this entirely, though.
US Senators said via Reuters:
"Both Governor al-Rumayyan and Mr. Norman have valuable information to share about the operations of the Public Investment Fund, the future of LIV Golf, and Saudi Arabia’s plans to invest in golf and other sports. Consistent with our subcommittee’s practice, we look forward to working with both witnesses to find a mutually agreeable date for them to appear in the very near future."
Ron Price, who is the chief operating officer of the PGA Tour, and board member Jimmy Dunne (who was instrumental in negotiating the shocking merger) have agreed to testify before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on July 11.
LIV Golf is funded by PIF, who is the technical new partner of the PGA Tour. Their money is controversial in the United States due to its connections with the Saudis and their tenuous relationship with America.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (Democrat, Connecticut) asked the PGA Tour and LIV Golf for communications and records on their planned merger last month.
This was part of a preliminary investigation because the US had concerns about the Saudi government's role in the deal and the potential risks posed by a foreign government entity assuming control over the sport that primarily operates in the United States.
LIV Golf and PIF have often been accused of sports washing money from the Saudis, which will likely be part of the investigation. At this stage, there doesn't appear to be any reason to assume the merger is in jeopardy, but anything can happen once the proceedings begin.
PGA Tour once wanted to partner with DP World and push back on LIV
To say the PGA Tour and LIV Golf merger was shocking would be an understatement. It surprised everyone, partially because the Tour had shown no interest in anything but dismantling LIV.
A document revealed their intentions via Sports Illustrated:
"Eighteen months ago we entered into our Strategic Alliance with the European Tour Group (ETG) and successfully blocked the then Saudi-backed PGL (Premier Golf League) from gaining control. On the opportunity front, the PGA Tour is now in position to simplify and streamline the flow of talent through a coordinated global schedule. It is also poised to gain ownership of (and the substantial financial upside related to) the European plays of the Ryder Cup—one of the most prestigious and prospected events in all of golf."
Put simply, they wanted nothing to do with LIV and wanted to strengthen their relationship with DP World, but now all three are effectively partner entities.