Jay Monahan Reveals Crunch PIF Talks But 'Multiple Parties' Still Involved As He Also Lifts The Lid On His Mental Health Issues

Jay Monahan will meet PIF boss Yasir Al-Rumayyan but says 'multiple parties' are still in talks over investing in the PGA Tour, while also lifting the lid on his own mental health issues

Jay Monahan talks to the media before the Tour Championship at East Lake
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jay Monahan will meet with Yasir Al-Rumayyan to try and hammer out a final deal with the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF), but says "multiple parties" remain in the conversation - as he also lifted the lid on his mental health issues.

The PGA Tour commissioner and PIF boss Al-Rumayyan shook hands on that bombshell deal back in June, but nothing has progressed beyond that framework agreement, with an original deadline of 31 December to finalise a full deal fast approaching. 

Monahan made his most open comments about the possible deal, and his own mental health concerns, at the New York Time DealBook Summit - where he admitted he's still "a work in progress" after the stress of the situation took its toll.

Although the upcoming meeting with the PIF is the priority, Monahan insists other parties, reportedly including Fenway Sports Group and KKR & Co. investment firm co-founder Henry Kravis, remain in the frame. 

“We’re having conversations with multiple parties,” Monaghan said at the New York Time DealBook Summit. “The deadline for our conversations with PIF, as you know, is a firm target. I'll be with Yasir next week.

"And we continue to advance our conversations. And I think it's pretty well known that there's a large number of other interested parties that we're also pushing to think about.”

Monahan has been getting criticism from all angles, most recently even Tiger Woods voiced his frustration at the deal being made in secret. 

He's now insisting that a deal, which he says will now likely involve both the PIF and a third investment party, is the right thing for the PGA Tour's future.

“When this gets finalized, the PGA Tour is going to be in a position that the athletes are owners in their sport, and you've got not only the PIF, but you've likely got another co-investor, with significant experience in business, in sport and brand that's going to help take the PGA Tour to another level and help us take share from other sports and even be more competitive," Monahan said, as he insisted the move would be benefit the players, many of whom continue to question his position.

“What’s most important to our players is that they go from the model of being independent contractors to being owners.

“People have made far more consequential decisions than the one that I've made and ultimately, the one that we're going to make," he added.

"You have to look out over the horizon, you have to believe in your heart of hearts that what you're committing to is the right decision. And you have to be willing to take all the criticism, and there has been a lot of it, and it will continue to be more.”

PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan and PIF boss Yasir Al-Rumayyan

PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan and PIF boss Yasir Al-Rumayyan will meet next week

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Monahan says the stress of his position forced him to take a leave of absence to help deal with anxiety, but he admits that the timing of him stepping away really hurt.

"I knew I'm the first person to run into a fight,” Monahan said. “Anybody that knows me will tell you that. And I knew the perception was that I was running away from a fight. And that was excruciating. That hurt me to my core.

“You'll hear people talk a lot about 'I focus on the things I can control.' I wasn't doing a good job of that. I was confusing that. I am fully focused on the things I control.

"And so, you have to realize that it's part of life, it's part of who I am, it's my truth. And I am a work in progress. And I'm just every single day trying to improve."

Monahan seems determined to try and see a deal through, despite all the criticism he's taking - and left no doubt in his latest interview just what the impact was on him both physically and mentally.

“This had been an extended conflict. You’re not eating right. You can’t do anything other than think about work because you care so deeply about the game, the PGA Tour, our players and our history. It took its toll on me.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.