'What The F***?' How PGA Tour Pros (Including Rory McIlroy And Justin Thomas) Reacted To Merger News During Full Swing Season 2

The Netflix cameras captured the reactions of a number of PGA Tour pros after the June 6 agreement became public which were shared in Season 2 of 'Full Swing'

Collin Morikawa and Joel Dahmen attend The Netflix Cup in 2023 - inset photo of Justin Thomas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The second season of Netflix golf-documentary series, Full Swing gave fans a behind-the-scenes view of some of the sport's most memorable moments during the 2023 campaign.

From the Ryder Cup to one of the more controversial US Opens at Los Angeles Country Club, the streaming platform's cameras showed what some may have preferred to stay hidden as well as the warts-and-all reaction of players to a variety of different scenarios.

But one moment from last year garnered a degree more reaction than most, and as a result it required a bumper slot to tell the full story. 

In the first couple of 'Full Swing' episodes, titled: The Game Has Changed: Part One/Two, a handful of PGA Tour pros react to the news that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has performed a potentially historic u-turn and announced the US-based circuit has entered into a framework agreement with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund - backers of rival tour, the LIV Golf League.

The decision arrived not too long after Monahan had claimed "we will never work with LIV" while appearing to remain steadfast in his belief that the PGA Tour could continue to grow without additional support.

Rory McIlroy - who features heavily in Season 2 of Full Swing - said: "What happened? How did you get from not knowing this guy (Yasir Al-Rumayyan) and not meeting this guy to signing what is probably the biggest deal in the history of professional golf? What happened?

“You’re telling us that these guys (LIV) are almost like the enemy to you’re partnering with them. It’s a hard one to swallow."

Jay Monahan and Rory McIlroy at the Tour Championship during the trophy presentation

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What made the announcement even more shocking and upsetting for McIlroy is that it came at a time where he was chairman of the Player Advisory Council on the PGA Tour board and had regularly defending his circuit by taking shots at LIV.

Meanwhile, his quest for Major number five continued to elude him.

McIlroy continued: "I’m like, 'why did I just waste 12 months of my life to fight for something that was always going to come back together again?'

“There is a palpable vibe of confusion and anger because we have very little information now apart from basically entered into an agreement, don’t know what that agreement is going to involve."

Elsewhere, two of Team USA's key players shared their surprise at the decision.

Collin Morikawa asked: “What the f*** just happened? Just chaos.” And Justin Thomas said: “What the f***?

"There’s clearly more to this other than 'it’s just a merger.' Nobody knows anything and there’s just so many unanswered questions. And I’m just trying to get answers like everybody else.”

Joel Dahmen smiles in front of a Full Swing sign in the Netflix Full Swing Clubhouse during practice for the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 15, 2023 in Pacific Palisades, California.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fan favorite from Season 1 of Full Swing, Joel Dahmen, shared his disbelieving response. He said: “What is happening? This is really weird, literally flipped 180.

"Monahan flipped 180, they did it in secrecy, they didn’t tell anyone, there was no votes, there was nothing.”

Offering some composed reaction to the June 6 agreement in the days after, McIlroy pointed out that a lot of the players' grievance was born out of not knowing it could be happening and also finding out it was happening at the same time as everyone else.

McIlroy said: "It was all sprung on us so quickly, everyone was blindsided by it and I think that created a lot of anger and a lot of confusion amongst the tour membership.

"Jay realised pretty quickly that the rollout of it could have been handled better.”

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.