Jay Monahan Admits Regrets Over Hasty PGA Tour/PIF Agreement Announcement

The PGA Tour Commissioner has spoken to the media for the first time since the controversial announcement on June 6th

Jay Monahan
Jay Monahan returned to work in July after taking leave for a "medical situation"
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, has spoken of the controversial framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia for the first time since the announcement on June 6th, admitting that he does have regrets. 

Monahan, who took on the role of Commissioner in 2017, had been on leave because of a “medical situation”, but on Wednesday, prior to the FedEx St. Jude Championship, he opened up about the fallout that had come immediately following June’s announcement.

“My biggest regret was not being more patient on the night of June 5th,” Monahan said. “I think moving to make this announcement the next day, if I could do it over again, we don't get do-overs in this sport, I would have flown up to [the RBC Canadian Open] and would have communicated directly to the players that day before anything was said publicly. But it wouldn't change my belief and my determination for what we had accomplished.”

Prior to June 6th, Monahan and the Tour had openly criticised PIF and the players who signed with LIV Golf.

During an interview with CBS Sports last summer at the Canadian Open, Monahan said, “I would ask any player that has left or any player that would ever consider leaving – have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”

It’s a line that he won’t need to be reminded of. However, Monahan insists that it’s only the manner of how the announcement was made that bothers him – that and how he lost the trust of his players.

“For those that I lost [trust] with, I’m determined to regain it,” he said. “I see a clear path to doing that, as difficult as that may seem right now for some. I care deeply about our players. I care deeply about this Tour. I care deeply about our model.”

Monahan also shared a few details on his mental and physical health, and explained why he’d taken time off after he and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan unveiled the deal on CNBC.

“It builds over time, it affects everybody differently, and it had been affecting me,” he said. “It was particularly acute that day [June 6], but again, I realized the position I was in and said this is the right time to go take care of myself.”

He added: “I knew that we have a great team in place, and I knew that I had – ultimately, you can't wait when you're in a situation like that, and I needed to deal with it, and I needed to deal with it for my family, as I said, for myself, and ultimately to be as strong as I can possibly be for the players.”

Jon Rahm

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A number of players, including Jon Rahm, have come out in support of the commissioner since to returned to his desk, something that Monahan might be able to take comfort in as he looks to rebuild his trust with the players.

“I've acknowledged it was an ineffective rollout [of the “framework” agreement], and that's on me,” he replied, when asked whether he should “keep his job”.

“My performance has always been and will continue to be measured based on results and the productivity of the organization, results delivered and done in the right way.

“I am confident that when we complete this process, as I've said before, this will be a rewarding result for PGA Tour players and for our fans.”

Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.