Jay Monahan’s role as PGA Tour commissioner is coming under increasing scrutiny, with world number 6 Xander Schauffele revealing here on the eve of the Scottish Open that he and his colleagues have “trust issues” with the circuit supremo and that he “has a lot of tough questions”. respond to his return.
As if Monahan wouldn’t have enough pressing issues when he logs back into Sawgrass headquarters on Monday after five weeks off with an unnamed ‘medical condition’ the 53-year-old suffered following the merger at breathtaking Tour with the Saudi. sovereign fund.
Not only does the Bostonian have the Public Investment Fund negotiations to catch up on – and to many they seem complex to the point of being unworkable – but following the remarkable Senate hearing on the shock alliance held on Tuesday in Capitol Hill, the sound of discontent has never been louder.
Monahan has an ever-growing number of players who have remained loyal to the Tour queuing up to ask why they were persuaded to turn down a nine-figure entry fee to join LIV Golf when there was to be a merger with it so soon. the supposed enemy. announcement.
Monahan himself admitted before taking his forced leave that he would be classed as a “hypocrite” for his extraordinary U-turn and while that stench is still heavy in the air, so is the smell of revolt. Schauffele might make a strange steward, but the Olympic champion claimed to speak a lot here at these East Lothian links.
“We got a memo saying he’ll be back on the 17th. [of July]said Schauele. “If you want to call it one of the hardest times on the Tour, the guy was supposed to be there for us… Obviously he had some health issues. I’m glad he said he was felt a lot better. But yeah, I’d say he has a lot of tough questions to answer when he comes back. I don’t trust people easily. He had my trust and he has a lot less now. And I’m not alone when I say that.
Jordan Spieth wasn’t as direct as his Ryder Cup team-mate, but he clearly shares the same emotions. Asked if he thinks Monahan will have to “navigate trust issues” within the member-owned organization, Spieth replied, “Yeah, not bad, just based on the conversations I’ve had. I had with the players. I think he realizes that.”
Due to his medical condition, Monahan will not, as usual, attend next week’s Open Championship in Hoylake and will instead try to find a way through the fallout from the politicians’ grilling which he did not attend. . Monahan missed the 9/11 victim groups in the room as senators pressed Tour officials on the morality of Saudi funding and the dramatic reversal.
A trove of 276-page documents was released by the subcommittee during the hearing, exposing such gems as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were scheduled to receive their own LIV teams and, bizarrely, Yasir Al-Rumayyan be welcomed. as a member of Augusta National and the Royal and Ancient.
The Tour told Telegraph Sport on Tuesday that it had rejected those proposals, but it could not dismiss the idea that the two sides were far from a deal that would unify golf and begin to satisfy the majority of players.
McIlroy declined to speak to print media here after his pro-am on Wednesday and told state-run TV media he would not be discussing LIV. A member of his management team told Telegraph Sport: “He wouldn’t know where to start.”
This is completely understandable considering how the Tour effectively used him as its most dominant voice against LIV during the Sporting Civil War. Undoubtedly, McIlroy’s angst is one of the highest in the dressing room, but Schauffele insists tensions are high everywhere.
“Do I feel the peace or harmony that the merger has brought?” said Schauele, incredulous. “I would say peace and harmony is definitely the opposite of what the announcement brought to us players.”
Another headline that emerged from the Senate’s explosive disclosure discharge was the Tour’s determination to ensure that Greg Norman was promptly removed as LIV’s chief executive. In a parallel letter to the ‘umbrella agreement’ it was stated that Norman would be leaving within a month of last month’s announcement and an email exchange between Monahan and an executive was also published highlighting the importance that they granted to this eviction.
Yet he was never signed by PIF and so Norman’s influence remains a bone of contention. But a top player asked Telegraph Sport why only Norman was lined up for the chop?
“Greg kicked off LIV and yes he was combative in some of his traditional Tours taunts but how is that worse than Jay going on live TV and referencing 9/11 and Saudi involvement , then back up and jump in with them?” the pro said.
“And yet Jay is responsible for everything?” The PGA Tour and the new merger? That doesn’t make much sense to me. But not much of that. It’s a total mess.
Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then get a year for just $9 with our exclusive US offer.