The PGA Surrenders

The PGA Tour waved the white flag and merged with LIV Golf:

In the bitter civil war between the tradition-steeped PGA Tour and its filthy-rich, Saudi-backed rival LIV over the future of golf, the money has come out on top. Leaders of the two organizations delivered a bombshell announcement on Tuesday that they will merge through a deal that will drag global golf into a ‘new era’ – whether the players, fans and sponsors like it or not.

The news, which blindsided players and executives on both circuits, follows years of bitter disputes that have pitted the sport’s leading figures against each other over money, power and ethics in the gentleman’s game.

While LIV poached some of golf’s biggest stars – including Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson – with deals totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, those loyal to the PGA, including Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, have had the rug pulled out from under them after snubbing eyewatering paydays on moral grounds.

Ultimately, the PGA was unable to keep up with the relentless investment of oil money in a circuit bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the investment arm of a nation with a dismal human rights record. Something had to give.

I strongly suspect that LIV Football (aka Soccer) is next. In the aftermath of the failure of the European Super League and the massive offers being made to iconic players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, it appears obvious to me that the strategy will be to first buy the players, then use that leverage to force advantageous mergers with the existing powers.

Whenever money or power become central, the richest and the most ruthless are guaranteed control. Keep that in mind when you set your own priorities.