PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, blames Congress’s failure to step in for the merger between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Tour. He claims that the US government has allegiances toward the Saudi officials, even going so far as to claim that the two governments have an “alliance.” Monahan and the tour sent a letter to Congress expressing why his Tour was “forced” into a merger. He cited the ongoing legal struggles between the two golf organizations as lengthy, even saying that they would likely go on for years if this merger didn’t occur. He claimed: “This left the very real prospect of another decade of expensive and distracting litigation and the PGA Tour’s long-term existence under threat.” Many, including groups that support the victims of the 9/11 attacks that the Saudi government funded, are calling for Monahan to resign.
By Walker Todd Huston; June 14, 2023
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan tried to blame his organization’s merger with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf on a lack of action by Congress in comments on Tuesday.
The deal was announced on June 6, shocking the golf world, especially since PGA Tour officials denounced the LIV Golf “blood money” and its links to “dictators.”
But now, Monahan claims that the PGA Tour was forced to merge with the Saudi golf concern because of the federal government’s alliances with Saudi Arabia, Fox News reported.
The PGA boss sent a letter to Congress explaining the Tour’s position.
“During this intense battle, we met with several members of Congress and policy experts to discuss the PIF’s attempt to take over the game of golf in the United States, and suggested ways that Congress could support us in these efforts,” Monahan wrote. “While we are grateful for the written declarations of support we received from certain members, we were largely left on our own to fend off the attacks, ostensibly due to the United States’ complex geopolitical alliance with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Monahan added that legal battles between the two golf giants could have lasted years.
“This left the very real prospect of another decade of expensive and distracting litigation and the PGA Tour’s long-term existence under threat,” he said.
“We believe that we did everything we could possibly do to defend what we stand for, including spending tens of millions of dollars to defend ourselves from litigation instigated by LIV Golf – significant funds diverted away from our core mission to benefit our players and generate charity,” the Tour chief said.
Since the merger was announced, it was estimated that the Saudis intend to infuse as much as $2 billion into the combined entity — which is thus far unnamed — and will have a seat on the board.
Many have blasted the PGA Tour for putting “money over morals,” and a group that represents families of the terror attacks on 9/11 slammed the Tour for betraying them, forcing Monahan to apologize for the merger.
Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images