LIV Golf chief sacked as Saudi merger negotiations with PGA Tour continue

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LIV Golf chief sacked as Saudi merger negotiations with PGA Tour continue
LIV Golf chief sacked as Saudi merger negotiations with PGA Tour continue

LIV Golf has implemented one of its first big changes ahead of its proposed merger with the PGA Tour, after senior official Ron Cross was relieved of his duties.

What the future holds for LIV Golf still remains unclear, following the shock agreement between the PGA Tour and Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) in June. LIV are set to work in unison with their once PGA Tour rivals, as well as the DP World Tour as part of the deal.

But they are set to enter the next chapter of professional golf without one of their original officials, after it was confirmed Cross was let go by the breakaway circuit this week.

Cross had acted as chief events officer for the LIV setup, helping to secure venues for tournaments as well as putting together their schedule. Cross was one of the first major appointments when the breakaway circuit was initially announced back in November 2021.

In a statement, he admitted he was 'surprised' by LIV's 'change in direction', but offered his his well wishes to his former employers. Cross told Sports Illustrated: "I am sincerely thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of launching LIV Golf.

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"While surprised in the change in direction at this time, I remain incredibly proud of the job being done by my Event Delivery Colleagues, LIV Golf team members, the players, caddies, venue and vendor partners to make LIV Golf a tremendous experience and wish them all the best for continued success."

LIV Golf chief sacked as Saudi merger negotiations with PGA Tour continueLIV Golf are set to work alongside their PGA Tour rivals (Getty Images)

Cross is no stranger to the world of golf, having previously worked for the PGA Tour covering a number of aspects and events including the Players Championship and Presidents Cup. The former LIV man also has previous experience working for Augusta National Golf Club - the home of the Masters.

On his departure, LIV Golf said they were 'grateful' for Cross' contributions to their rise over the past year. In a statement obtained by ESPN, a spokesperson commented: "Ron Cross played an important role in the launch of LIV Golf and the establishment of our tournaments

"We are grateful for his contributions. The success of LIV events has always been rooted in our ability to evolve and do things differently and we remain committed to those fundamental ideas going forward."

Joshua Lees

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