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Backlash Over The LIV/PGA Merger

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan faced backlash during a players-only meeting in Toronto after the merger with LIV Golf and the DP World Tour. The negotiations took seven weeks before being finalized, and players were not informed or involved. Monahan and PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan announced the merger on CNBC, leading to a heated meeting with players in Toronto. Monahan was criticized for being a hypocrite, as he had previously opposed any association with LIV Golf. Players loyal to the PGA Tour expressed frustration over the merger and the money involved.

Fox News: PGA Tour players call Commissioner Jay Monahan ‘hypocrite’ during heated meeting following LIV Golf merger

Scott Thompson; June 6, 2023

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan was called a “hypocrite” during an intense players-only meeting in Toronto Tuesday following the PGA’s merger with LIV Golf and the DP World Tour. 

Monahan revealed the negotiations to unify golf globally among the PGA Tour; the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which backs LIV Golf; and the DP World Tour took about seven weeks before being finalized Monday. 

Not one player was aware of the merger, let alone in the room for negotiations. 

The players found out about the merger when Monahan and PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan made the announcement on CNBC Tuesday morning. 

Following the announcement, Monahan went to Toronto to meet with players ahead of the PGA Tour’s RBC Canadian Open this week. 

That meeting was “intense” and “heated,” according to Yahoo Sports, and PGA Tour pro Geoff Ogilvy confirmed Monahan was getting ripped. 

“I’m glad I wasn’t Jay today,” Ogilvy said. 

He added that Monahan was called a hypocrite, noting “he took it, he said yeah.”

The comments from players stem from Monahan’s previous stance that the PGA Tour would never associate with LIV Golf.

Players like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler all spoke their minds about LIV Golf, suggesting they lost respect for those who chased money by joining LIV.

Now that the organizations have merged there are frustrations among players who backed Monahan and the PGA Tour front office. 

Monahan was at the forefront of LIV Golf criticism. A video of him ripping the tour resurfaced following the merger, and he even cited the 9/11 terrorist attacks in his argument. 

“Well, I talked to players, I talked at a player meeting,” Monahan said at the time. “And I’ve talked to a number of players individually for a long period of time. And I think you’d have to be living under a rock to not know that there are significant implications. 

“And as it relates to the families of 9/11, I have two families that are close to me that lost loved ones. So, my heart goes out to them. 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?”

“Listen, I think I’ve been pretty clear on this: I don’t see [a truce] happening,” Monahan also said in September. “When you look at where we are, and you think about words and actions, we’re currently in a lawsuit. So, coming together and having conversations, to me, that card is off the table, and it has been for a long period of time.”

Money also factors in. Many players, especially stars like Woods, McIlroy and Scheffler, turned down millions to remain on the PGA Tour. It was reported that a combined $2 billion was left on the table, with Woods offered around $800 million to jump ship. 

“Those players who have been loyal to the PGA Tour, I’m confident they made the right decision,” Monahan said, via Golf Digest, when asked about the signing bonuses that weren’t cashed by those who stayed. 

So, while LIV golfers like Phil Mickelson believe Tuesday was an “awesome day,” others on the PGA Tour can’t believe what has transpired. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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