The PGA Tour and LIV Golf’s longstanding battle got here to an finish on Tuesday when it was introduced that the PGA Tour could be merging with the Saudi-backed start-up to “unify the sport” of golf.
The announcement — which got here from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on CNBC — was, predictably, not well-received by the tour’s gamers.
And issues evidently got here to a head between the golfers and the tour’s management at a gathering later within the day.
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Monahan held a gathering with gamers on Tuesday in Toronto, the place 156 golfers had been making ready for this week’s RBC Canadian Open. Unsurprisingly, it was a tense setting, as Monahan defined.
“I’d describe the assembly as intense,” he instructed reporters, per Sean Zak of GOLF Journal. “Definitely heated.”
That could be underselling it. Veteran tour member Johnson Wagner shared on Golf Channel that a number of gamers had referred to as for Monahan’s resignation throughout the assembly, per Kyle Koster of The Large Lead. And most requires PGA Tour management modifications had been met with applause.
Wagner additionally estimated that about 90 p.c of the room was towards the merger.
In the meantime, Geoff Ogilvy — one other long-time member of the PGA Tour — additionally implied that the ambiance within the assembly was strained.
“I am glad I wasn’t Jay at the moment,” Ogilvy mentioned, per Golf.com.
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Ogilvy additionally mentioned that Monahan defined that the deal was within the works for seven weeks, per Ron Klos. The veteran golfer added that it appeared just like the PGA Tour wasn’t ready to announce the merger at the moment and speculated that they did so as a result of the settlement was going to be leaked. That might be a part of the rationale there aren’t too many particular particulars concerning the seismic shift within the sport’s panorama.
In a juicier little bit of post-meeting gossip, Ogilvy detailed that one participant referred to as Monahan a “hypocrite” within the merger’s wake. Monahan took the abuse “calmly” and answered every of the questions requested of him.
It is simple to know why many PGA Tour gamers would really feel this fashion. In any case, Monahan was chief amongst these preaching loyalty to the PGA Tour over the nine-figure offers that LIV Golf was providing its contributors. And ultimately, he successfully double-crossed the gamers.
Monahan is conscious of that notion however is adamant that his change in tone got here due to a change within the info offered to him.
“I acknowledge all the things I’ve mentioned prior to now in my previous positions,” he mentioned, per ESPN. “I acknowledge that persons are going to name me a hypocrite. Anytime I mentioned something I mentioned it with the data I had within the second, and I mentioned it based mostly on somebody that is making an attempt to compete for the PGA Tour and our gamers. I settle for these criticisms, however circumstances do change. I feel that in trying on the massive image and it this fashion, that is what acquired us thus far.”
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Absolutely, these aren’t the final particulars that can emerge concerning Tuesday’s assembly. And definitely, it will not be the final gathering between the PGA Tour’s administration and high golfers as Monahan appears to re-establish a stage of belief between the 2 events.
“Clearly, it has been a really dynamic and sophisticated couple of years, and for gamers, I am not shocked,” Monahan mentioned. “That is an terrible lot to ask them to digest, and this can be a important change for us within the path that we had been taking place.”
Because it stands, it does not seem to be the strain between Monahan and the gamers will probably be going away any time quickly — if the commissioner is ready to survive it.