PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan took time off at the height of federal scrutiny against the LIV Golf merger—and revealed why this week.
- On June 6, PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and DP World Tour announced a combined merger into a new international entity.
- On June 13, the PGA Tour Policy Board announced that Monahan was dealing with a “medical situation” and “appreciates everyone respecting his privacy.”
- On July 11, PGA Tour operating chief Ron Price and director Jimmy Dunne testified before a Senate subcommittee to defend against claims of boosting Iran’s reputation.
- After more than a month of leave time, Monahan announced on Wednesday that his unexpected break was due to anxiety creating “physical and mental health issues and challenges for me,” ESPN reports.
- A PGA Tour spokesperson further confirmed Monahan’s claim to CNN, with Monahan returning to his job by July 17.
Why It’s Important
Monahan disappeared from the public spotlight at a critical moment for PGA Tour and its future. With the federal government banging at the company’s door and threatening legislation against the golf league, he has faced criticism for backing away from the spotlight at a vital moment and leaving others to carry the burden.
“I needed to step away and to deal with that and understand how to develop the skills to deal with that going forward,” he says. “[The announcement] was ineffective and, as a result, there was a lot of misinformation. I think anytime you have misinformation, that can lead to mistrust, and that’s my responsibility. It’s nobody else’s responsibility—that’s me and me alone. As I’ve said, I take full accountability for that. At the same time, I apologize for putting players on their back foot.”
As we previously reported, the historic merger drew massive scrutiny from Congressional Democrats and the Department of Justice over anti-trust and human rights concerns for association with Iran’s government. The merger would likely give PGA Tour a controlling interest in a for-profit subsidiary that manages all of the commercial assets for tours while PGA Tour manages competitions.
Regardless of his situation and the effect it could have on the merger, Monahan has since defended his stance that he is confident in the ability of the merger to move forward. “And I am confident that when we complete this process, as I said before, this will be a rewarding result for the PGA Tour players and our fans,” says Monahan.