That sound you heard on Tuesday was the collective gasp of golf fans across the world when news broke that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, ostensibly bitter rivals, would be merging into one massive entity governing professional golf.
Given the amount of mud slung between the two bodies, the move -- which the PGA described as "a landmark agreement to unify the game of golf" -- is the rough equivalent of Democrats and Republicans suddenly announcing a new, super uni-party.
Speaking of Republicans, that other sound you likely heard on Tuesday was a chuckle emanating from the 45th president of the United States. Why?
Because, while most people are still picking their jaws up off the floor over this merger, Donald Trump predicted it -- nearly a year ago.
"All of those golfers that remain 'loyal' to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its different forms, will pay a big price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big 'thank you' from PGA officials who are making Millions of Dollars a year," Trump said on Truth Social in July 2022.
Notably, the former president added, "If you don’t take the money now, you will get nothing after the merger takes place, and only say how smart the original signees were."
Well, the merger has taken place (officially between the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour -- the PGA Tour's European equivalent -- and the Public Investment Fund, which owns LIV Golf) and, just as Trump predicted, it's unclear how any of the golfers who spurned LIV Golf's big checks will be made whole.
For the unfamiliar, the PIF is basically a massive trust fund for the Saudi Arabian government.
Those ties to the deep pockets of the Saudi royal family (estimated net worth: $1.4 trillion) gave the fledgling golf league the kind of money to pry some of the biggest names away from the PGA, such as Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.
Some big names who allegedly passed on LIV Golf money after PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan begged them to stay loyal?
Reported offers to join LIV 👇
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) June 6, 2023
While the Tiger Woods offer appears to be the most credible, there are a number of PGA players who might have left generational wealth on the table out of some misplaced sense of loyalty.
And if there's any doubt that the PGA and Monahan were specifically targeting consciences to counter LIV Golf targeting bank accounts, look no further than this clip of Monahan from 2022:
"Have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan comments on players joining LIV Golf. pic.twitter.com/MeHAbR1qQL
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 12, 2022
When presented with news that families of victims of 9/11 were outraged at golfers accepting Saudi-linked money, Monahan said, "I think you'd have to be living under a rock to not know that there are significant implications."
"And I would ask any player that has left or any player that would ever consider leaving: Have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?"
By Monahan's own moral standard, the answer to that question is now, apparently, yes.
But while the aftermath of this merger will undoubtedly be seismic, those who've already been working with LIV Golf will probably notice nary a tremor.
One such person? Trump, who has long been associated with LIV Golf despite the criticism of it. The former president has three of his golf courses hosting various LIV events.
This is as big a win as Trump has gotten, perhaps, since 2016. He acknowledged the bombshell announcement shortly after it was made on Tuesday.
"GREAT NEWS FROM LIV GOLF. A BIG, BEAUTIFUL, AND GLAMOROUS DEAL FOR THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF GOLF. CONGRATS TO ALL!!!" Trump posted on Truth Social.
That aforementioned announcement from the PGA Tour was a whole lot of words to say, "We were facing an entity with so much more money than us that it could just bleed us dry via a million paper cuts."
The PGA has a sizable war chest to operate with (the exact figure is not known, but it's estimated to be in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars), but it pales in comparison to what the PIF has in its coffers (estimated to be $6.5 billion.)
It's showing up to a gunfight with a slingshot.
And just like how people would point and laugh at the poor sap without an actual gun, those who've supported LIV Golf -- including Trump -- can point and laugh at the poor saps who actually bought into Monahan, the PGA and their warped sense of "loyalty."
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.