'The PGA Tour Is Moving On' - Monahan On Saudi League

The PGA Tour commissioner says it's time for speculation about the reported league to end

Jay Monahan speaks to the media at the 2019 Players Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has attempted to draw a line under recent controversy surrounding the reported Saudi Super League.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Monahan made a statement on the topic, which has rarely been out of the news in recent weeks. However, rather than fuel any more controversy, he sought to put an end to the speculation about the PGA Tour’s stance on the issue once and for all, claiming it's time to move on. 

"I wanted to take a moment to address all of the news discourse and conjecture lately about the world of professional golf. And I'd like to emphatically reiterate what I told our players at our mandatory player meeting two weeks ago at the Honda Classic. The PGA Tour is moving on. We have too much momentum and too much to accomplish to be continuously distracted by rumours of other golf leagues and their attempts to disrupt our players are partners and most importantly, our fans from enjoying the tour in the game we all love so much.”

At the mandatory player’s meeting that Monahan referenced, he reportedly told any player lured by the prospect of joining the rumoured league could “walk out that door now”. That threat appears to have done the trick - for now, at least. In his latest comments, Monahan praised the recent support the PGA Tour has received from the top players. He continued: “I am grateful for the strong support our top players have shown recently and publicly and I'm extremely proud that we've turned the conversation around to focus on what we do best - delivering world-class golf tournaments with the best players to the best fans, all while positively impacting the communities in which we play.”

Monahan concluded his address with the comment: “we are and we always will be focused on legacy, not leverage.” That could be seen as a nod to comments attributed to Phil Mickelson that he used the rumoured league as leverage to put pressure on the PGA Tour. Mickelson has criticised the organisation for its stance on media rights, and accused the Tour of “obnoxious greed”. He has since backtracked on those comments and is currently taking a break from the game. However, Monahan seems unwilling to do the running to persuade Lefty to rejoin the Tour, saying: “The ball is in his court.”

Monahan's statement comes after Greg Norman, who fronts LIV Investments, the company thought to be behind the rumoured league, sent a letter to Monahan warning him that the PGA Tour can't ban players for wanting to play elsewhere. He finished the letter with the comment "this is just the beginning. It is certainly not the end." For now, that doesn't appear to be something Monahan agrees with. Time will tell who is proved correct. 

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.