In an interview with ESPN that was released this week, Jay Monahan claims that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf cannot cohabit or combine.
The PGA Tour commissioner’s remarks, made during the Presidents Cup last week, came as the sixth event of Saudi-backed LIV Golf, which will be played this week, was announced. The event will feature golfers who have both joined the upstart for the large, guaranteed purses and been suspended by the Tour for doing so. Both parties have filed lawsuits against one another; LIV’s case was filed in early August, while the Tour’s countersuit was filed last week.
“Some players have said that the Tour and LIV need to come together. What is your opinion?”
In the interview, Monahan said, “Well, I think words and actions are important. I think it’s impractical when you look at the fact that certain players have sued the PGA Tour, their employer has sued the PGA Tour. It’s not in the cards. It hasn’t been in the cards, and it’s not in the cards. I think we’ve been pretty consistent on that front.”
Next, Mark Schlabach of ESPN questioned if the PGA Tour and LIV Golf could coexist.
In the interview, Monahan remarked, “I’d provide the same answer.” “The answer to that is they’ve gone down their path and I think we have been pretty consistent that we’re going down ours, and I don’t see that happening. Haven’t, and I don’t.”
The remarks deserve attention. Monahan has consistently expressed such beliefs in interviews, despite recent suggestions to the contrary from players. One of the PGA Tour’s strongest supporters, Rory McIlroy, said this week that “there is a time and a place where everyone that’s involved here should sit down and try to work together,” but he also acknowledged how difficult that would be given the ongoing legal battles.
Before the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the DP World Tour, McIlroy remarked, “There’s obviously this court case that’s going to happen in February with the DP World Tour and then the one in the States, whenever that gets — so that’s what makes it very difficult. I’ve seen a few guys have sort of dropped their name from that suit in the States over the last 24 hours. But that’s what makes it difficult.”
“And I think, as well, there’s a natural timeline here to let temperatures just sort of settle down a little bit and people can maybe go into those mediations with cooler heads and not be so emotional about it all.
“But look, I don’t want a fractured game. I never have. You look at some other sports and what’s happened, and the game of golf is ripping itself apart right now and that’s no good for anyone. It’s no good for the guys on, you know, this side or the sort of traditional system, and it’s no good for the guys on the other side, either. It’s no good for anyone. There is a time and a place for it. I just think right now, with where everything is, it’s probably not the right time.
“But saying that, I don’t think we can let it go too much longer. So I’m all for everyone sitting around the table and trying to figure something out for sure.”
The teams will continue to play as speculations of more players quitting the Tour for LIV abound. When asked in the ESPN interview what he was telling players to keep them from leaving, Monahan gave a detailed response that touched on the money and reputable events offered by the Tour as well as the freedom “to be able to pick and choose your schedule, to be able to identify the companies and the people that you want to partner with.”
The following question was also put to Monahan at the conclusion of the ESPN interview:
Why would LIV Golf not outlive the PGA Tour?
He sold his brand again.
“Because the game, at the highest level, is about aspiration,” Monahan said in the interview. “It’s about context. And any young kid today, any kid that’s going to be playing the game going forward, ultimately is going to want to win the biggest championships, the biggest tournaments, and put themselves in a position and on a path over the course of their golf journey to get to the PGA Tour and to again, achieve at the highest level. We are going to continue to evolve and get stronger in every single area of that spectrum or of that journey.”
Original article posted on Golf.com
Photo credit: Adam Hagy