PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan rules out LIV Golf reconciliation
‘We’re in a lawsuit!’ PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan rules out any chance of reconciliation with LIV Golf rebels with defectors to Saudi-backed event banned from Presidents Cup
- LIV rebels filed an antitrust suit last month following the PGA Tour suspension
- None of the players who dropped out can play at this week’s Presidents Cup
- PGA commissioner Jay Monahan says any chance of an alliance is ‘off the table’
- Lawyers for his Tour have accused LIV of being a Saudi Arabian “sports laundering” exercise
Jay Monahan has ruled out the prospect of ‘peace in our time’ between his PGA Tour and the LIV rebels.
The two competitions are currently embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit filed in August by LIV players who had been suspended by the PGA Tour after defecting to the Saudi-backed rival.
Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Bryson DeChambeau and others sued the PGA Tour and were supported by LIV CEO Greg Norman, who said monopoly power had been used to suppress competition with insurgent players unfairly banned.
When you are asked Golf Channel ahead of the Presidents Cup in North Carolina, whether there was any prospect of a truce, Monahan immediately rejected the proposal.
“Listen, I think I’ve been pretty clear on this: I don’t see this happening,” he said.
“When you look at where we are and you think about words and actions, we’re currently in a lawsuit, so when we get together and have conversations, for me, that’s off the table and it’s been in a long period of time.’
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has ruled out any prospect of a truce with LIV rebels
Several of the world’s leading golf stars have defected to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour
Monahan continued: ‘When you look at the PGA Tour and you look at where we are today and you look at what it is that we’re trying to achieve every single day – what is our focus?
‘To put forward the best competitive platform for the best players in the world to achieve at the highest level, to win the championships that have history, that have tradition, that create legacies.
‘That’s what we’re going to keep doing and we’re going to keep getting better at it, we’re going to keep getting stronger at it.
‘You’ve heard me say before that we want to focus on things that we control; we have more assets available, stronger partnerships and we have the best players in the world telling us that not only do they want to commit to playing more, but they really look at the organization to achieve it.
‘It’s about where we are and where we’re going, and again, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities here.’
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman (left) with Cameron Smith after the final event in Illinois last week
Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez celebrate a LIV Golf success
The PGA Tour did not hold back in its response to the LIV lawsuit last month, with lawyers claiming it is an attempt to use golf to ‘sportswash’ the Saudi Arabian government’s human rights record.
“LIV is not a rational economic actor competing fairly to launch a golf tour,” the Tour’s lawyers wrote.
“It is prepared to drop billions of dollars to exploit the plaintiffs and the sport of golf to “sport-wash” the Saudi government’s deplorable reputation for human rights abuses.
“If plaintiffs are allowed to break their TOUR contracts without consequence, the entire mutually beneficial structure of the TOUR, an arrangement that has developed the sport and advanced the interests of golfers dating back to Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, would collapse .”
The American players – minus LIV rebels – pose for a photo ahead of the Presidents Cup
The Saudi rebels’ bombshell case claimed their suspension from the Tour would cause ‘irreparable damage’ to their careers.
The lawsuit read: ‘As part of its carefully orchestrated scheme to defeat the competition, the Tour has threatened lifetime bans against players who play in even a single LIV Golf event.
“It has supported these threats by imposing unprecedented suspensions on players (including the plaintiffs) that threaten irreparable harm to the players and their ability to practice their profession.”
However, the tour insisted the players face no threat and that the trio were aware of the consequences they would face when they accepted millions to join LIV golf.