‘We Were Largely Left On Our Own To Fend Off The Attacks’ – Monahan In Leaked Letter To Congress

The PGA Tour commissioner doesn't feel his organisation got the help it needed to fend off its rival

Jay Monahan speaks to the media before the 2022 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands
Jay Monahan has claimed the PGA Tour didn't get the support it needed from lawmakers
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has written to Congress defending his decision to join forces with the Saudi Public Investment Fund that bankrolls LIV Golf.

The news of the agreement was announced earlier in the month, but it has been met with plenty of questions, not least from the US Senate, which has opened an investigation into the deal.

However, Monahan has outlined the reasons for the move in a letter to US lawmakers, where he also claimed the PGA Tour was largely left to go it alone in its battle against its rival. 

In the letter, which was obtained by Politico, Monahan states: “During this intense battle, we met with several Members of Congress and policy experts to discuss the PIF’s attempt to take over the game of golf in the United States, and suggested ways that Congress could support us in these efforts.

“While we are grateful for the written declarations of support we received from certain members, we were largely left on our own to fend off the attacks, ostensibly due to the United States’ complex geopolitical alliance with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Monahan reportedly told employees of the PGA Tour that it couldn’t afford to keep battling the PIF financially and he alluded to those potential struggles in the letter, continuing “This left the very real prospect of another decade of expensive and distracting litigation and the PGA Tour’s long-term existence under threat.”

Monahan then explained the deal won't result in a Saudi takeover of the game. He wrote: “Rather than a foreign funded entity taking over an American sport, the end result is that the PIF has agreed to work within the existing golf ecosystem as a minority investor with the PGA Tour in full control. The PGA Tour is, and will remain, an American institution dedicated to its players and generating charity in the communities where we play.”

The US Senate’s investigation into the deal saw Monahan and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman receive letters from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Richard Blumenthal, who has requested access to a wide range of documents from both parties dating back to October 2021.

In his letter to Monahan, Blumethal wrote: “While few details about the agreement are known, PIF’s role as an arm of the Saudi government and PGA Tour’s sudden and drastic reversal of position concerning LIV Golf raise serious questions regarding the reasons for and terms behind the announced agreement.

"PGA Tour’s agreement with PIF regarding LIV Golf raises concerns about the Saudi government’s role in influencing this effort and the risks posed by a foreign government entity assuming control over a cherished American institution. 

As part of the agreement, Monahan is expected to become CEO of the new entity running the game, with PIF’s Yasir Al-Rumayyan becoming chairman.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

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.