6:10 p.m. You would think a major sports entity might give a heads-up to the people footing most of the bill about a dramatic sea change in the sport of which they’ve invested.
But apparently: Nah, fam.
The PGA Tour’s U.S. media partners — NBC Sports/Golf Channel, CBS Sports, and ESPN — were blindsided by the news of the merger with LIV.— Front Office Sports (@FOS) June 6, 2023
It is uncertain whether the new entity will renegotiate the PGA Tour’s long-term media rights deals.
6:01 p.m. Monahan confirms that no players were involved in meetings. He and two other PGA TOUR board members were the only ones in the room with the Saudi PIF representatives over the last few weeks.
Monahan stressed that today's news is a "framework agreement" and that's why players — yes, even Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy — were not yet included in the process.— Sean Zak (@Sean_Zak) June 6, 2023
Meetings were between the PIF, Monahan, Ed Herlihy and Jimmy Dunne.
5:58 p.m. Jay Monahan does not speculate on whether LIV Golf will still exist from now. The PGA TOUR and DP World Tour’s new partnership is with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, not LIV Golf.
Monahan on whether LIV Golf exists a year from now: "I don't want to make any statements or predictions. What is in place is to make a good faith effort to look at team golf and the role it can play going forward."— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) June 6, 2023
5:53 p.m. Jay Monahan acknowledges that he will be called a hypocrite after making statements in the past year such as “Have you ever had to apologize for being a PGA TOUR member?” in reference to the Saudi Arabian human rights record.
“I recognize everything I’ve said in the past in my past positions. I recognize that people are going to call me a hypocrite. Anytime I said anything I said it with the information I had in the moment.” -- Jay Monahan about changing his position about Saudi money in recent weeks.— Sean Zak (@Sean_Zak) June 6, 2023
Despite turning down millions of dollars only for the PGA TOUR to allow LIV golfers back in, Monahan said that the PGA TOUR golfers who chose not to leave made the right decision.
Monahan on those angry players who turned down LIV money and stayed with the PGA Tour: “Those players who have been loyal to PGA Tour, I’m confident they made the right decision"— Joel Beall (@JoelMBeall) June 6, 2023
5:35 p.m. Geoff Ogilvy was in the players’ meeting and said that they “didn’t learn a whole lot.” He added that there was a “feeling of a lack of trust in the leadership” after the quick pivot. He said that the deal had been in the works for seven weeks.
Jay Monahan said these negotiations took about 7 weeks. It was him and 2 others PGA Tour board members in room. Zero players. Finalized last night.— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) June 6, 2023
5:32 p.m. According to Wagner, a player asked Monahan if he upheld his previous pledge of “transparency” regarding the TOUR with players. Monahan apparently said no he hadn’t done that here.
5:27 p.m. PGA player Johnson Wagner says “there was a lot of anger in the room from players.” Also says that some players called for the resignation of Monahan, and there were even some standing ovations involved. Wow.
5:00 p.m. Jay Monahan is scheduled to meet with the PGA TOUR’s Player Advisory Council at 6 p.m., which consists of the five directors listed below, and 16 other players as well.
Apparently the full player-only meeting is either wrapping up soon or is about to end...
4:57 p.m. There is “skepticism” and “anger” amongst players according to Rex Hoggard while live on Golf Channel. “There are players calling for the commissioner to step down,” he says.
Remember this is a player-led organization, and they’ll need the PGA TOUR’s Policy Board to approve this in some capacity. And that board has 11 members, five of which are players in Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Charley Hoffman, Peter Malnati, and Webb Simpson.
Meanwhile at least one player is live tweeting from inside the meeting itself.
I will. We are still going strong here. Vibe is HOTTTTTT!!!!— Wesley Bryan (@wesleybryangolf) June 6, 2023
4:42 p.m. Eamon Lynch while on Golf Channel just said Phil Mickelson “will be doing a victory lap” while also calling him “an amoral stooge for murderers.” The Golf Today on Golf Channel and USA Today columnist certainly isn’t holding back, but he’s also reflecting what plenty of people think in and around the game.
4:30 p.m. It appears as part of this deal, The Shark has been thrown overboard. Bob Harig of SI reports the LIV Golf Commissioner won’t be a part of any newly-formed entity.
Today is one of the craziest days in the history of professional golf, with the leadership of the LIV Golf Tour and the PGA TOUR putting down their swords and agreeing to merge under one umbrella. The reactions have certainly been varied.
PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan has just walked into the room, and all the media is gathered outside. We’re just going to follow all the reactions both online and in video. But if you’re a leader or member of the PGA TOUR Policy Board like Rory McIlroy, or someone like MacKenzie Hughes who found out about this on Twitter like the rest of us, you’ve probably got a LOT of questions.
The PGA TOUR remains a 501(c)6 organization, and they’ll need the players to approve such a merger. We’ll see if the players are on board with this pretty quickly most likely.