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PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf merger: Paul McGinley on the key questions facing golf

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Paul McGinley looked at some of the biggest issues facing men's golf following the news that the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf's Saudi backers had come to an agreement over the future of the men's professional game

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Paul McGinley admits there is so much to untangle from the shock merger between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf, with those who defected to the latter looking like the 'smartest people in the room'

Former Ryder Cup captain and Sky Sports Golf expert Paul McGinley assess the key questions facing men’s golf following the news of the merger between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund…

Is this merger and the Saudi investment good for golf?

"If you want to judge your sport on money, and what money can do for your sport and propel it, absolutely yeah.

"That's kind of what the players will be looking at. 'What's in it for me, how much prizemoney am I going to be playing for and getting, and what's my job security?'

"Players in Europe are going to be thinking this strategic alliance [with the PGA Tour] is great. 'Boy am I glad we had that in place because that puts us at the top table and gives us access to this incredible amount of funds as well.'

"But it's so much complexity here, and to bring a divided sport - which is what it has been for the last 12 months - and a diluted sport with two leagues going on, to try to bring those together and make it equitable and make it fair."

Will players who stayed loyal to the PGA and DP World Tours be compensated?

"The guys who went over to LIV obviously got paid huge amounts of money. Some of them got reportedly hundreds of millions of dollars to go over there, so how do you make that fair for somebody like Rory McIlroy who has not taken that money and stayed loyal?

"It's not just about the top players, there are some players who were paid to go to LIV who were really far down the rankings.

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Rory McIlroy says he feels for those who rejected approaches from LIV golf and took the 'massive decision' to stick with the PGA tour

"So, if you are going to make it equitable then how far down do you keep paying all the guys who remained loyal before you get to a stage everyone is on an equal footing again before you can go forward?

"You're dealing with probably 700 or 800 golfers here [including the Korn Ferry and Challenge Tours], and that's aside from the commercial partners.

"This is going to really test the executive in the game, not just in terms of coming up with a vision but communicating that to the players and trying to bring them along so there is not another fracture that develops. That could easily happen, so they need to move very slowly from here."

What does the future hold for the LIV Golf series?

"I don't think anybody knows how we see it. We weren't privy to those top-level negotiations which went on between the Saudis, the PGA Tour and Keith Pelley on behalf of the DP World Tour. I think everything is on the table.

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Watch all the key moments from McIlroy's action-packed press conference following the announcement of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf

"I think the LIV events are very complex to integrate back in again because a lot of the players own equity in these teams, so if you're going to have the likes of Rory McIlroy playing in these team events where other players benefit because they have equity in those teams, how do you make that right?

"Do you have more teams? That's only dealing with the LIV situation, forgetting about the PGA Tour with the contracts and the historic events they have to fit into the calendar as well."

What will the merged tournament schedule look like?

"Is it going to involve international play? It's going to involve some LIV events? What's going to happen to all the historic legacy events we have in Europe and America? How's that going to sit with TV companies?

"The current sponsors on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour [will want to know] what's in it for them. This is only the start of what is going to be a very complex situation.

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CEO of the PGA European Tour Keith Pelley is asked how he thinks the players who stayed loyal to the PGA and DP Tours might feel after their merger with the LIV Tour

"You've got to remember professional golfers are not like professional soccer players who play 40 weeks a year. They play 22 to 23 events a year - that's all they do - and even if the money is huge, I can't see them playing more than 26 or 27.

"If you're looking at 14 LIV events, 14 events from the PGA Tour, four or five from Europe, the Ryder Cup and the four majors, you start adding all that up and you get to a number of about 35 or 36 weeks.

"I'd be really surprised if players, even if the money is huge, would buy into that and if you are going to have that many, at what stage does it become diluted again? I think golf and sport is at its best when all of the top players are competing with each other."

Can PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan survive calls to resign?

"He's obviously in a very tricky position, there's no doubt about that. He's got his players to back him, he's been very strongly anti-LIV, he's been very strong in trying to build up the PGA Tour; a lot of the players have not gone over to LIV because of his persuasion.

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan claims those players who stayed loyal to the PGA Tour will be rewarded after the DP World Tour, PGA Tour and LIV Golf announced a merger

"Now, all of a sudden, a deal is done, and these guys look isolated, and that's the issue I have with this statement when it came out a couple of days ago - there wasn't enough detail there.

"When a deal is done in the city, they make sure both sides are the winners. When this was announced, this didn't look like two sides were winners. It made it look like the LIV guys who went over there, took the money and are now coming back in are the winners.

"If you look at their social media since, they've been very giddy, and they look like they're the smartest guys in the room because they went over there - and that really isolates the PGA Tour players who remained loyal.

"That's where the disconnect with Jay is and that's where he's got a real problem now."

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Dame Laura Davies says she expects the animosity that emerged between some players over LIV Golf to subside when they get back out on the course

How will the changes impact the Ryder Cup?

"The Ryder Cup is a great event, and we want to have a pool of European players to pick from. You've got to be a member of the DP World Tour to do that, it's the only kind of leverage the tour has over the players to ask them to come and play in Europe four times a year to be eligible to play in the Ryder Cup.

"I think the Ryder Cup will be fine. This edition, a lot of the guys have resigned and won't be involved.

"They won't be involved on this occasion, but going forward they may well come back into the fold. But again, this is all part of the complexity I'm talking about."

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