I enjoyed Ron Green’s column regarding PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and the difficult decision that he had to make in partnering with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (“Like it or not, Monahan acts prudently for PGA Tour,” June 12 GGP). I am curious about what prompted Green to write, “LIV almost certainly will go away after this year …”
During their joint press conference, the PIF’s Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Monahan made it clear that at a minimum, the team aspect of LIV will remain in some form. The reality is, none of us really knows what is going to happen.
It seems to me that this agreement puts LIV in the position to become what CEO Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson hoped it could be before Monahan forbid PGA Tour guys from competing on both tours. Now, LIV is free to go after the 48 best players in the world.
Green wrote that LIV “made a splash with the money it spent, not with the product it produced,” but it now has the opportunity to improve its product greatly. As CEO of the new entity, Monahan can control how much LIV competes with the PGA Tour, but there is no reason why LIV can’t continue with seven or eight events a year. With unfettered access to players, TV rights, and sponsors, those events could be very successful.
Greenville, South Carolina
Thanks, Ron Green, for a really well-written and objective column (“Like it or not, Monahan acts prudently for PGA Tour,” June 12 GGP). It's one of the first I've read that didn't simply take a side. As an attorney, I appreciate that as objectivity often times gets sacrificed for emotion.
However, it's hard for me not to be emotional about this, try as I might. Did Green really have to use an airplane metaphor to describe the situation in the light that the situation brings 9/11 back to the forefront?
The rest of his column was well-thought out, and that was readily apparent.
Brian J. Mongelluzzo
Being a Canadian I was immensely proud to see a Canadian, Nick Taylor, finally win our national open on June 11. However, that may well be the last PGA Tour event that I watch. The current situation, to paraphrase Ron Green’s commentary, is a hurdle which I don’t think I can get over (“Like it or not, Monahan acts prudently for PGA Tour,” June 12 GGP).
I’m a 72-year-old lifetime golfer and sports fan. I gave up having any interest in hockey, football, baseball and basketball years ago due to the all-consuming greed and focus on money. Golf is there now. When you add into the mix the fact that one of the world's foremost anti-human-rights regimes is going to be pouring more money into the tour, we have something I can't and won't support.
I will always love golf, but just not at the elite pro level. I realize how little I need it when I couldn't bring myself to watch the recent PGA Championship because I couldn't stand to watch players from the Saudi Blood Money League in contention and ultimately win. The big eye-opener was that I realized that I didn't miss it at all.
We all have to draw a line in the sand based on our moral compass and issues of human rights. I’ve drawn mine.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thanks, Ron Green, for the perspective on the difficult decision Jay Monahan faced recently (“Like it or not, Monahan acts prudently for PGA Tour,” June 12 GGP). The article was concise and sympathetic to the difficult, yet only, decision that Monahan could have made.
Monahan likely could have avoided this situation more than two years ago. If Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has billions to spend, shouldn’t he have politely asked for a conversation to determine what PIF wanted to achieve by entering the world of professional golf? Granted, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman is a toxic figure, but Monahan should have pushed past Norman to meet with the real money behind LIV and avoid the abrupt about-face on June 6.
A business leader must recognize his strengths and weaknesses before battle, not two years into the conflict. Reacting with lawsuits, lifetime suspensions, pushing up PGA Tour purses and a marketing campaign against the Saudis’ human-rights record seems to be a bit rash for an executive who, as Green wrote, “leads with empathy and compassion” and "knows his way around boardrooms.” His actions may have won Monahan the battle of PGA Tour vs. LIV, but he lost the war of the dollars and control by depleting his reserves in the past two years.
Monahan made the right decision on June 6, but he would be less of a social punching bag if he had better-handled the situation 30 months ago.
Complex, for sure, but I keep thinking that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan should resign (“Like it or not, Monahan acts prudently for PGA Tour,” June 12 GGP).
Hostile acquisitions are always problematic (I’ve been involved in one). But in this case, he was the leader when professional golf got rolled. If he can go into the office every day and feel good about what happened, what he did during the process, and where he ended up, I’m not sure he’s the right guy for the job.
I see one institution after another change dramatically from what they were. College football has totally lost its way. NIL, mergers and rearrangements of the conferences. Nothing more than minor leagues for the NFL.
I had hoped that golf, and the PGA Tour in particular, would hold fast. Alas, it’s once again all about the money.
It’s the latest sign that the apocalypse is upon us.
It's going to be a hard sell for me to see this any other way: PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan pulled the rug out from under the tour and players (“Like it or not, Monahan acts prudently for PGA Tour,” June 12 GGP).
If I were among the players – and certainly the ones who were most vocal and stood up for the tour – I'd be furious at Monahan. We’ll (maybe) get a look at this deal eventually. I have my doubts. How can anyone trust this guy? I’d like to see what personal gain Monahan gets out of the deal.
I’ll watch the PGA Tour as much as I do now: mostly weekends, and only if it’s interesting. Same with the LPGA (“Man in the middle,” June 12 GGP).
I don’t really care where the money is coming from. I’m a consumer who is interested in a product, not how it’s made or who owns the company. I don’t watch the NBA, not because of the China connection, but because I don’t like the product.
Professional golf will be better because it now has villains. Every sport needs bad guys. The tour has a bunch of “blah” guys. Give me Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau over Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay any day.
Jim Nugent’s commentary (“Inside golf’s stunning deal,” June 12 GGP) was the best thing I’ve read about this mess in the almost two weeks since we woke up to the news.
Well done, and thank you.
Great summary by Jim Nugent of a difficult situation (“Inside golf’s stunning deal,” June 12 GGP).
Excellent journalism is still alive.
Stephen G. Edmondson
This was a terrific article (“Inside golf’s stunning deal,” June 12 GGP).
Jim Nugent brought great insight through his research into a topic that has confused so many of us golf fans. As a result of Nugent’s explanation, I am coming around to the belief that this new entity will be a great success in the long run. Hopefully the bitterness among the players will subside.
Jim Nugent wrote the best summary by far, reflecting strong reporting and spot-on analysis (“Inside golf’s stunning deal,” June 12 GGP).
This piece should win some sort of award. It corrects so many of the half-baked factoids being put forward by both the golf media (who don’t understand business structures and legal distinctions) and the national outlets (who don’t understand golf).
Thanks for tackling this complicated story and getting it right.
It was about the money. It is always about the money (“Man in the middle,” June 12 GGP).
Why are people surprised, disappointed, or hurt by the PGA Tour-LIV agreement when they should have known all along that it would come down to money? There are subtle differences about how the PGA Tour ran its business versus all other professional sport organizations, but the underlying drive for all is money.
The attacks by PGA Tour players against the LIV players is rooted in emotion, as are the attacks from fans against either LIV or PGA Tour folks. The players have real reason to be emotional if they turned down the big guarantees that now no longer exist. I’m sure that I would be angry if I were one of them. However, the fans’ anger is simply irrational anger, which is so prevalent in American society today. It didn’t go the way I wanted, so I’m angry!
I believe that when all of the dust and emotions settle, professional golf will be better. It will be better for the players, which will make it better for us (the fans).
LIV is all about money, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has lots of it (“Man in the middle,” June 12 GGP).
When the fledgling LIV tour started up, the excuses were: it’s a new, exciting format; more time for the family; less burn-out.
Never once was it: I’m getting lots of money from a dubious regime.
I remember Ian Poulter squirming in his seat when asked whether he’d have signed up if Vladimir Putin were putting up the money.
Then the team format – Aces, Crushers or whatever, but nobody cares. I’d have liked it more if they had come up with team names such as Cash Grabbers or Victoria Sponges (have your cake and eat it).
There may well be good reason to join forces, but at the end of the day, it seems as if it’s about the PGA Tour not hemorrhaging legal fees – again, money.
The credibility of the leaders of both tours is in tatters, and it would surprise me if they were still in place this time next year.
Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England
The recent PGA and PIF news embodies the old phrase of “the only constant is change” (“Man in the middle,” June 12 GGP).
Like any business, the PGA Tour insiders and commissioner Jay Monahan took a look forward analyzing expenses and revenues and had to make a difficult decision on how to stay relevant into the future.
In this instance, the Saudi morality questions had to be set aside to guarantee the legacy and the continued health of the PGA Tour. Not a pleasant task for Monahan having to do an about-face from his earlier statements.
It is interesting that many of us condemn his hypocritical actions, yet we still fill up at the Middle East gas pump without too much pause.
After the dust settles and the new PGA Tour/PIF program solidifies, there might be some praise in the future for the forward thinking and initiative of the PGA Tour leadership to preserve the tour's future.
No doubt this new order for golf is polarizing. Often a wait-and-see attitude is a good way to understand and accept, or not, that change constantly happens.
St. Johns, Florida
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