EXCLUSIVE: Elite global golf tour – featuring 18 tournaments across the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Series – is in the works for 2025 as part of extraordinary peace deal with Saudi Arabia’s PIF
- The plans developed after a framework agreement was signed back in June
- A proposal for an umbrella organisation – run by the PGA – is being considered
- Prize money would increase significantly to around £20million per event
The world’s top golfers will be invited to play in a unified global tour featuring 18 tournaments as part of golf’s extraordinary peace deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Mail Sport has learned of plans for a united global schedule involving tournaments on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Series, developed after a framework agreement was signed in June.
The three main tours will continue to operate independently next year, but it is understood the changes are set for 2025.
Although the framework agreement was light on detail, it is hoped a new calendar backed by around £2billion of Saudi investment will be agreed by the end of the year.
Sources involved in the discussions have told Mail Sport that one proposal being given serious consideration is for an umbrella organisation — run by the PGA — to control all three tours, which would overlap otherwise.
Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan is the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund
As many as 12 events are anticipated to take place in the US to recognise the PGA Championship’s pre-eminence
Officials of the PGA, DP World Tour and LIV remain in talks over the unified tour’s schedule (pictured, LIV chief Greg Norman)
Unlike at present, players will be allowed to appear on all three tours, but an elite series of 18 events, in addition to the four majors, would also be carved out, with invitations restricted to leading players.
It is expected that as many as 12 of these events would take place in the United States to recognise the pre-eminence of the PGA Tour, with around three each given to European and LIV events.
Invitations would be determined by world rankings, although some wildcard entrants may also be permitted.
To recognise the status of the top 18 tournaments, prize money would increase significantly to around £20m per event. American investment bank Allen and Co have been engaged to work out the details of the prize fund with the Saudis.
In addition to these events, the DP World Tour and LIV will continue to operate as at present, although players will be able to move freely between them. The huge disparity in prize money between the tours would also be reduced significantly.
Officials from the PGA, DP World Tour and LIV remain in talks over the schedule. Any significant changes from the current set-up would require the backing of players, whose influence has grown after Tiger Woods was named as a sixth player-director on the PGA Tour’s policy board last month.
That means golfers now outnumber the board’s independent directors.