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Golf-PGA LIV merger reaction: what have Rory McIlroy and other players said?

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(Reuters) – The PGA Tour, European Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit announced a landmark agreement on Tuesday to merge and form a commercial entity to unify golf.

Following are the reactions:

FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

“GREAT NEWS FROM LIV GOLF. A BIG, BEAUTIFUL, AND GLAMOROUS DEAL FOR THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF GOLF. CONGRATS TO ALL!!!”

PGA TOUR COMMISSIONER JAY MONAHAN

“I recognise that people are going to call me a hypocrite. Anytime I said anything, I said it with the information that I had at that moment, and I said it based on someone that’s trying to compete for the PGA TOUR and our players.

“I accept those criticisms. But circumstances do change. I think that in looking at the big picture and looking at it this way, that’s what got us to this point.”

9/11 FAMILIES UNITED ORGANIZATION

“9/11 Families United is shocked and deeply offended by the newly announced merger between the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf league that is bankrolled by billions of sportswashing money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi operatives played a role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and now it is bankrolling all of professional golf.

“PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan co-opted the 9/11 community last year in the PGA’s unequivocal agreement that the Saudi LIV project was nothing more than sportswashing of Saudi Arabia’s reputation.”

RORY MCILROY, FOUR-TIME MAJOR WINNER AND LIV GOLF CRITIC

“The people that left the PGA Tour irreparably harmed this Tour, started litigation against it. We can’t just welcome them back in,” McIlroy said.

“I still hate LIV. I hope it goes away and I would fully expect that it does.

“If you’re thinking about one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world, would you rather have them as a partner or an enemy? At the end of the day, money talks and you would rather have them as a partner.”

SIX-TIME MAJOR WINNER PHIL MICKELSON, ONE OF THE BIGGEST NAMES TO JOIN THE LIV SERIES

“Awesome day today”

LIV GOLF CEO GREG NORMAN

“A great day in global golf for players and fans alike. The journey continues!!”

R&A CEO MARTIN SLUMBERS

“We are pleased that an agreement has been reached which will help men’s professional golf move forward in a collaborative, constructive and innovative fashion.

“We care deeply about golf’s future and are committed to ensuring that the sport continues to thrive for many years to come.

“This agreement represents a huge step toward achieving that goal for golf and we look forward to working with the new entity for the benefit of the sport globally.”

18-TIME MAJOR WINNER JACK NICKLAUS VIA PALM BEACH POST

“The last three years have been difficult for the game and the players. 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.”

AMERICAN GOLFER DYLAN WU

“Tell me why (PGA Tour Commissioner) Jay Monahan basically got a promotion to CEO of all golf in the world by going back on everything he said the past 2 years. The hypocrisy. Wish golf worked like that. I guess money always wins “

CANADIAN GOLFER MACKENZIE HUGHES

“Nothing like finding out through Twitter that we’re merging with a tour that we said we’d never do that with.”

TWICE MAJOR WINNER COLLIN MORIKAWA

“I love finding out morning news on Twitter”

THREE-TIME MAJOR WINNER PADRAIG HARRINGTON

“Surprised that this merger has happened so quickly but not surprised it’s happened. Definitely in the financial interest of both sides.

“Definitely in the financial interest of the players even though some of those who gain will feel like they’re losing. Good for the cohesion of global golf.”

AMERICAN GOLFER JOEL DAHMEN

“I’ve grown up being a fan of the 4 Aces. Maybe one day I get to play for them on the PGA Tour!,” Dahmen said on Twitter, referencing LIV Golf team 4 Aces.

AMERICAN GOLFER MICHAEL KIM

“The hell is going on? Very curious how many people knew this deal was happening. About 5-7 people? Player run organization right?”

REPUBLICAN U.S. REPRESENTATIVE NANCY MACE

“A PGA Tour and LIV Golf merger is huge news for the future of professional golf.

“Optimistic to see how this will help grow the game for years to come!”

CANADIAN GOLFER ADAM HADWIN

“I feel sad for the Canadian Open that this news drops Tuesday of what is a very important event for golf in our country. We are overshadowed for the entire week.

“I think one of the big things will be moving forward is how are players re-integrated back into the system, if they are.”

AUSTRIAN GOLFER BERND WIESBERGER

“On a serious note: I am happy that Golf came together today. I am looking forward to hopefully soon supporting the DP World Tour again along my participation on LIV Golf. All in all – a great day for Golf’s future.”

SOUTH KOREAN GOLFER AN BYEONG-HUN

“I’m guessing the LIV teams were struggling to get sponsors and PGA Tour couldn’t turn down the money. Win-win for both tours but it’s a big lose for who defended the tour for last two years.”

BRITISH GOLFER EDDIE PEPPERELL

“This is positive for professional golf, but a fine line will need to be traversed over next 6 months for a good deal to be done that most are happy with. Jay (Monahan) has to answer some questions to his players!

“I’m not surprised there are some angry players in the US right now who remained loyal to the PGAT. His leadership throughout all of this has been poor.”

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India, Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City, Rory Carroll in Los Angeles and Amy Tennery in New York)

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