PGA TOUR golfers let their voices be heard at a heated meeting with commissioner Jay Monahan on Tuesday following his announcement of a new deal to join forces with the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the European Tour.
“It was contentious,” TOUR winner and Golf Channel reporter Johnson Wagner said, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. “There were many moments where certain players were calling for new leadership of the PGA TOUR and even got a couple standing ovations.”
Players were completely left in the dark about the agreement, including the two biggest names in the sport: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, a player director on the TOUR’s policy board, was the most prominent voice against LIV Golf over the past year.
Many are of the opinion that trust is broken between Monahan and the players.
“Look, I think Jay does a good job for us. I do,” player advisory council member Ryan Armour told Golf Digest’s David Shedloski. “I think he is a very smart man. The way he handled the challenges with COVID, got us through the crisis; he showed great leadership. But there’s a lot of disappointment today. What I have been told by my peers is that they feel betrayed right now. There must have been 20-to-25 guys who used that word. They feel backstabbed. And they feel slighted.”
Added 2006 U.S. Open winner Geoff Ogilvy: “I’m glad I wasn’t Jay today. There’s some grumpy players in there. I feel a little bit sort of, I’m not lied to, but just that the, the TOUR has sort of changed its position quickly like, and dropped it on us really fast. So maybe there’s a feeling of a lack of trust a little bit in the leadership.”
Monahan later said he was ready to face criticism from the players.
“I recognize everything that I’ve said in the past and my prior positions. I recognize that people are going to call me a hypocrite,” Monahan said, per Schlabach. “Anytime I said anything, I said it with the information that I had at that moment, and I said it based on someone that’s trying to compete for the PGA TOUR and our players. I accept those criticisms, but circumstances do change. I think that in looking at the big picture and looking at it this way, that’s what got us to this point.”
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