PGA Tour Head Jay Monahan Taking Health-Related Leave After Merger

Monahan's "medical situation" arrives a week after his maligned deal with LIV

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan leads a moment of silence.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has ceded control of day-to-day operations.
Tom Pennington/Getty

A just-announced “medical situation” has caused 53-year-old PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to cede day-to-day control of his circuit to Tour CEO Ron Price and executive VP Tyler Dennis just a week after the golf world was shocked to learn the sport’s two biggest rivals were banding together.

With Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) providing billions in backing cash, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will be partnering up in a yet-to-be-named global entity that will feature Monahan as CEO and PIF head Yasir Al-Rumayyan as chairman. Understandably, the news was met with a great deal of skepticism due to Saudi Arabia’s massive involvement and Monahan and the Tour’s previous criticism of LIV’s involvement with the wealthy Middle East nation due to its atrocious human rights record and ties to 9/11.

Denounced as a hypocrite or worse by many, Monahan will take a break from being the face of the PGA Tour just before the U.S. Open tees off tomorrow in Los Angeles. With Monahan no longer in the spotlight and Price and Dennis in it, perhaps the criticism of the PGA essentially selling itself to the Saudis will cease.

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“Our thoughts are with Jay and his family during his absence, and we wish him a speedy recovery,” Price and Dennis said in a statement. “We have a strong and experienced leadership team in place, and our priority is to support our players and continue the work underway to further lead the PGA Tour and golf’s future.”

As for the Open itself, it will feature PGA golfers and LIV defectors sharing the greens at a major for the third time this year. Jon Rahm, who claimed victory the first time the two tours got together at the Masters in April, does not sound sold on the new arrangement.

“I think it gets to a point where you want to have faith in management, and I want to have faith that this is the best thing for all of us, but it’s clear that that’s not the consensus. I think the general feeling is that a lot of people feel a bit of betrayal from management,” he said earlier this week.

Maybe that’s a contributing factor as to why the face of management, Monahan, is going to be taking a break from fulfilling his duties. Whether Monahan’s leave is for 100% legitimate reasons or not, it’ll be interesting to see how long it lasts.

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