PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan said tour couldn’t compete with Saudi funds, which led to LIV merger: report


The merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf shocked the sports world earlier this week, but Jay Monahan apparently has his reasons for agreeing to it.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Monahan told employees the tour could not continue to compete with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), which boasts an estimated $620 billion.

The PGA had already racked up $50 million in legal fees and earmarked another $100 million for higher purses in its tournaments, according to the report.

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Jay Monahan

Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, speaks to the media at a press conference prior to The Players Championship March 7, 2023, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

“We cannot compete with a foreign government with unlimited money,” Monahan reportedly told employees. “This was the time. … We waited to be in the strongest possible position to get this deal in place.”

The merger ends all pending litigation involving the PGA, LIV and DP World Tour.

Despite the PGA’s superstars remaining loyal to the tour, though, Monahan not only merged with the PGA’s former rival, he said in a memo to his players that the PIF will be “contributing … a significant financial investment” in the deal.

“The new agreement will merge the PIF’s golf-related businesses, which include LIV Golf, with that of the PGA Tour and the 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,” Monahan said in a press release earlier this week.

Greg Norman looks on

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman watches from a suite on the 18th green during the LIV Golf Invitational – DC at Trump National Golf Club May 27, 2023, in Sterling, Va.  (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The move seems to conflict with a video that recently resurfaced of Monahan using the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a reason PGA members should not have jumped ship.

GOLFERS WHO TURNED DOWN LIV, STAYED WITH PGA TOUR COULD GET EQUITY IN NEW VENTURE

“Well, I talked to players, I talked at a player meeting. And I’ve talked to a number of players individually for a long period of time,” Monahan said at last year’s RBC Canadian Open. “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?”

Jay Monahan talks to media

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks during a press conference prior to the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club Aug. 24, 2022, in Atlanta.  (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

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Monahan also said in September he did not expect a truce with LIV.





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