The merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf shocked the sports world earlier this week, but Jay Monahan apparently has his reasons for going along with it.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Monahan told employees the tour could not continue to compete with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which has about $620 billion.
The PGA had already racked up $50 million in legal fees and set aside another $100 million for higher purses at its tournaments, according to the report.
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“We can’t compete with a foreign government with unlimited money,” Monahan reportedly told employees. “It was time. … We waited until we were in the strongest possible position to put this deal in place.”
The merger ends all pending litigation involving the PGA, LIV and DP World Tour.
Although the PGA superstars remain loyal to the tour, Monahan has not only merged with the former PGA rival, he said in a note to his players that the PIF would be “contribute … a significant financial investment“in the case.
“The new agreement will merge the golf-related businesses of PIF, which include LIV Golf, with those of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour into a “new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that provides maximum excitement and competition among the best players in the game,” Monahan said in a press release earlier this week.
The move appears to conflict with a recently resurfaced video of Monahan using the 9/11 terrorist attacks as the reason PGA members shouldn’t have jumped ship.
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“Well, I spoke to players, I spoke at a player meeting. And I spoke to a number of players individually for a long time,” Monahan told the Canadian Open. RBC last year. “And I think you would have to live under a rock not to know that there are significant implications.
“And as far as the 9/11 families are concerned, I have two families close to me who have lost loved ones. So my heart goes out to them. And I would ask any player who is gone or n any player who would ever consider leaving: ever had to apologize for being a PGA Tour member?”
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Monahan also said in September that he did not expect a truce with LIV.