WWE and UFC’s parent company linked to PGA Tour potentially scrapping LIV Golf merger

The PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf are having a difficult time finalizing a planned merger, and the parent company for WWE and UFC could open the door to killing the expected deal.

Earlier this year, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour stunned the golf world when it was revealed that they had agreed to the framework of a merger with bitter rivals LIV Golf. Based on various reports following the news, it seemed that the immense wealth the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund was funneling into LIV made the PGA realize they were in a losing battle, and merging was in the best interest of the brand.

Related: PGA Tour and LIV Golf merger reportedly no longer a sure thing with December deadline looming

However, the deal has drawn the ire of PGA loyalists who did not jump ship for big bucks in LIV, as well as of the United States Congress. Since the announcement, the three leagues have seemingly not gotten any closer to closing the deal and it has opened the door to speculation it may fall apart. Especially after reports that the Tour was looking for other funding beyond the Saudi PIF.

Well, one of those potential investors has been revealed and it is from a man who just completed a major merger of his own. During a recent appearance at the Bloomberg Screentime conference, TKO Holdings Group CEO Ari Emanuel admitted his company was one of the potential investors.

pga tour, wwe, ufc, liv golf

“They created a profit investment opportunity for the PGA,” Emanuel said. “We put in a bid I think a week ago, Friday. We are in, in TKO, the sports business. I’m an avid golfer. It’s one of the great sports, I love it, I think we can add to it what we’ve added to all of our sports based on the flywheel.”

Emanuel recently created TKO to be the parent company for the finalized merger between MMA world leader the UFC — owned by Endeavor — and pro wrestling powerhouse WWE.

While there was speculation that the investment could be made to appease Congress over Saudi money being involved in the PGA, it is unlikely Emanuel would be willing to work with the PIF. Especially after the fund purchased a minority stake and made a recent investment in UFC competitor the PFL.

DP World Tour player suggests PGA Tour and LIV Golf deal in serious trouble

Adding fuel to the fire is DP World Tour player Eddie Pepperell, who made some bold claims on the merger during an appearance on the BBC’s “Chipping Forecast” podcast.

Related: Lexi Thompson – Making PGA Tour cut would be amazing, but not everything

“I’ve spoken to a top player about it on the US side and I’ve spoken to people on the high end of the board here [in Europe] and they both say the same thing; [getting a deal done] is not looking particularly positive. I think that’s where it is at. If I had to put a bet on at the moment I would say there isn’t going to be an agreement that’s going to work for everyone.”

There is reportedly a December deadline to finalize the agreements between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and LIV Golf.

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