The shocking news of a merger between rival golf tours sent shockwaves through the sporting world, but one Canadian professor believes this was the plan all along.

On Tuesday, the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund, the Saudi Arabian backers of the upstart LIV Golf tour, have agreed to combine businesses into a “collectively owned, for-profit entity,” which also ends litigation between the parties.  

“Of all the things I thought I would wake up to today, a merger between these two, what seemed to be quite bitter rivals was certainly not at the top of the list,” Colin McDougall, marketing lecturer at Western University’s Ivey School of Business, told BNN Bloomberg Tuesday.

“It's a big day for golf. It's really hard to quite unpack all the implications, but it's definitely a big day.”

The LIV tour has largely been criticised as a “sportswashing” move by the Saudi Arabian government to improve the country’s image and McDougall believes this merger lends credibility to Saudis’ plan.

“Certainly from a from the Saudi perspective, it's mission accomplished,” he said.

“A lot of people believe that they entered in this endeavour to help -- for lack of [a] better word -- launder their image or try to reframe their image on a global scale through professional golf, and I think this transaction will certainly fortify that decision that's being the right one for them.”

Watch the full interview with McDougall in the video above.