PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan accuses rebel Saudi tour of ‘spending billions to buy golf’
‘If this is an arms race with dollar bills as weapons, we can’t compete’: PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan accuses Saudi rebel tour of ‘spending billions to buy golf’ – but promises to fight on despite major players deserting them to leave
- PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan has another hit on the LIV Golf Series
- He says: ‘If this is an arms race with dollar bills as weapons, we can’t compete’
- Monahan spoke about the week that former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka defected
- The PGA Tour itself has increased their prize money to retain stars
PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan has denounced his criticism of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series as an “irrational threat” trying to buy the game.
Rather than fall back on the cash-rich new venture, the PGA Tour is fighting back, announcing a substantial increase in its own future prize money this week.
That said, Monahan was quick to tell reporters in Connecticut that there is no way his Tour can compete financially with LIV.
PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan has struck again in the rebel-led LIV Golf series
Brooks Koepka (above) is the latest to retire from the PGA Tour to join the controversial new series
“If this is an arms race, and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can’t compete,” he said on the eve of the Travelers Championship. “The PGA Tour, an American institution, cannot compete with a foreign monarchy that spends billions of dollars buying the game of golf.
‘We welcome good, healthy competition. The LIV Saudi golf league is not. It’s an irrational threat, one that doesn’t concern itself with the return on investment or the real growth of the game.”
Monahan’s comments come the same week that Brooks Koepka – the former world No. 1 – chose to move up to the new breakaway league and in turn became the highest-ranked player in the series.
Charl Schwartzel (left) was the first to win a tournament on the new cash-rich LIV Series
He is expected to compete in his first tournament in the United States, which will begin on June 30, at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside of Portland, Oregon.
It was also announced this week that golf rebels in Saudi Arabia will not be blocked from playing at the 150th Open at St Andrew’s next month, with organizers insisting “openness is fundamental”.
There has been a tougher stance from the PGA Tour, and Monahan, though, after the chief emphasized that players are not allowed to ‘freeride’ on either tour.
Monahan was also asked about the letter sent by a group representing the families of victims and survivors of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States to representatives of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Kevin Na – who have all signed up for LIV Golf.
Dustin Johnson was the highest-ranked name to play in this month’s inaugural LIV Golf event
Star Names Like Phil Mickelson Have Already Lost Approval Deals For Signing Up With LIV
The letter accuses the players of laundering sports and betraying their country, stressing that “Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 September 19 hijackers were Saudis.”
“I think you have to live under a rock not to know there are significant implications. Two families close to me have lost loved ones,” Monahan said.
“I would ask any player who has left, or any player who would ever consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being on the PGA Tour?”