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The stunning merger of the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour on Tuesday was also a surprise for executives throughout the sport. Steve Jent, the executive director of the Sanderson Farms Championship, learned about the union of the two men’s professional golf tours like everyone else.

“I got the release the same time as everybody else,” Jent said Wednesday. “I don’t have any more details than what that release stated. I’ve been watching the news like anybody else. We haven’t had a call with anyone with the PGA Tour or anything. What I know is the same thing you know from reading the release.”

The joint statement outlined an agreement that combined LIV Golf with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour into a “new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that delivers maximum excitement and competition among the game’s best players.” The announcement also outlined the end of previous antitrust litigation against the PGA Tour.

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The 2023 Sanderson Farms Championship is scheduled to start on Oct. 2 at the Country Club of Jackson. Jent doesn’t believe the merger will have any impact on this year’s tournament.

“My reaction is that our mission doesn’t change,” Jent said. “What that release outlined is a commercial entity between LIV and the PGA Tour. For us the mission is the same, we run a tournament to impact Mississippi charities and our local economy.

“I don’t think this impacts our tournament one bit.”

The terms of the merger are still being finalized and “with details to be announced in due course,” according to the announcement.

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Jent believes that the 2024 edition of the tournament will look a lot like the upcoming Sanderson Farms Championship, regardless of upcoming details from the merger.

The only difference is the possibility of more golfers participating in the coming years.

“I don’t know what players are coming to compete until right before the tournament week,” Jent said. “This may add some player to our field next year that may not have been able to come this year. That’s a thing we’ll keep our eye on.”

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Sanderson Farms Championship’s Steve Jent on impact from PGA, LIV merger

Read the full article here

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