Inicio Main Tours PGA Tour Monahan does not contemplate another scenario than an agreement with the Saudis
The PGA Tour commissioner has spoken eight months later about negotiations with the Saudis.

Monahan does not contemplate another scenario than an agreement with the Saudis


Jay Monahan has spoken again. He did so on the eve of the THE PLAYERS Championship, the flagship tournament of the PGA Tour held at its headquarters at TPC Sawgrass. He had not been heard in public for eight months and there was a great deal of interest in learning more about the ongoing negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the future of golf. If you are expecting big exclusives and concrete details of the talks, we are sorry to disappoint you. Monahan has offered practically nothing new. However, he has made it clear that as of today he does not contemplate another option for the future of world golf that does not involve an agreement with the Saudis.

The commissioner of the PGA Tour has revealed that negotiations are still very open, that he trusts to reach an agreement and that SSG, the American investment group that became part of PGA Tour Enterprises, has already been in Arabia in meetings with the PIF. “I recently met with the governor of the PIF, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and our negotiations are accelerating as we spend time together. Although we still have to resolve several key issues, we share the vision of silencing the noise and unleashing the global potential of golf. It’s going to take time, but I reiterate what I said at the TOUR Championship in August: I foresee a happy ending for the PGA TOUR and for golf as a whole.”

Monahan has made it crystal clear that the future lies in this agreement. He has not even wanted to imagine a horizon without that union with LIV Golf. So much so that he has refused to answer that question. “I believe that negotiating an agreement with the PIF is the best way. Obviously it has to be the right agreement for both parties, as in any situation or negotiation. I take the responsibility of reaching an agreement very seriously and, as a board of directors and as an organization, we are committed to trying to reach a point where there is unification,” he assured. He does not contemplate another scenario.

The PGA Tour has also wanted to make it clear that the presence of SSG in the new for-profit company PGA Tour Enterprises not only does not pose any obstacle to reaching an agreement, but facilitates it. In fact, he revealed, in another of the few novelties of his appearance, that there have already been direct contacts between the American investment group and Yassir Al Rumayyan. “On December 7th we unanimously decided to move forward with SSG. It was important for SSG and for the TOUR to engage directly with the PIF before reaching any agreement, which is why I traveled in January along with the directors of SSG to Saudi Arabia to meet with Yasir and members of the PIF. That’s why we continue to have productive conversations. There is a mutual respect that I believe is helpful in reaching an agreement and has helped to accelerate the talks. After all, SSG has more than 200 years of management in professional sports franchises around the world and that is attractive to the PIF. We are at a unique moment where the union would put the sport in the best possible position to take advantage of the growth of golf in the future.”

He has been much less clear about the more delicate details of the agreement with PIF. In fact, he declined the question. We are referring to how the players who went to LIV Golf are going to return to the PGA Tour and what is going to happen, in case of agreement, with team golf. “There are many things we are talking about, and golf team is one of them, but I am not free to talk about the details. I just don’t think it’s helpful to reach a good end with the negotiations. But I appreciate the question.”

As for the return, it is being discussed and he knows that they will not be able to please everyone, but in this case it could be said that the end justifies the means. “However we end up, I think we are not going to be able to satisfy everyone and that goes for both sides. What we are trying to do is reach the best possible agreement for the TOUR and for the game, and I believe that is achievable.”