1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “PGA GOLF-WINNERS-LOSERS”

Posted by on June 7th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

“Golf’s Merger–Winners-Losers”


Birdies-Bogeys-Big Money-Bad Feelings.

That sums up the first 12-hours of reaction after the golf world was broadsided by the merger of the PGA Tour, the enemy LIV and the DF-European tour.

No one saw this coming and now suddenly the villain that was Greg Norman, has been replaced by the villain that is now, PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan.

But what just happened, this matchup of hated rivals becoming business partners is shocking, because this is more than just a dollar deal, it also involves values in society.

This involves more than golf and prize money.

This is about who the PGA is doing business with, the Saudi Public Investment  Fund, money poured in from a country with a history of horrid human rights violations, murder, discrimination, and humiliation of its own women.

Monahan spent the last year and a half condemning all things that the crown prince and his country stand for.  Now they will be linked together as business partners.

The PGA Commissioner stood strong as LIV golf began its raids of the big names on the tour with outrageous signing bonuses, by standing next to the 9-11 Families United group.  You should not forget the hijackers of those jets that hit the towers, the Pentagon and that Pennsylvania farm field, were an attack by Saudi extremists.

He intimated ‘things change-this was a business deal’.  Tell that to the families mourning dead family members.    Now what Monahan felt two years ago, is seemingly no longer important.

How do you explain to Rory McIlroy, Xander Schaufelle, Jon Rahm, your current stars, who passed up 100M bonuses to stay on the PGA tour, why this U-turn in business philosophy happened?

And now the PGA is willing to lift the suspension, readmit the big names who bolted, Koepka, Mickelson, DJ, DeChambeau?  They got their payday, hurt the tour that gave them a career, and will now be allowed to return with no penalty?  How is that fair?

Monahan held a heated 1-hour conversation with tour players in Toronto at the Canadian Open, and he took some hostile criticism for his public stance.  He accepted the brutal comments, like dishonorable, turncoat and hypocrite.

There are some who will say the formation of the LIV was sports-washing at its worst, the Sauids spending that money to try and change the global opinion of how they operate and how they treat people in that country.

The Saudis are buying their way into other sports.  Can you say Olympics, Newcastle United soccer, and F-1 teams.  Guess a price tag is attached to everyone’s values now.

But others will tell you the absurd money paid to players to jump, triggered the PGA to create additional big prize money, not just increased purses, but the formation of 8-elite tournaments with historic prize money.

The bitterness is extensive, with comments like ‘they had no sponsors, no TV deals, no fans on the course, and you bring them into a partnership?”

Rumors were flying the LIV was bleeding money.  They lost 863M in their debut season.  By the time they finish this year’s schedule, the 2-year losses will amount to 1.8B.  The backers of the fund were shopping the tour, and thought they had a 1B-deal just last week with a European investment syndicate, Endeavour, which instead backed out.

Talks with the PGA began 7-weeks ago in London.  Monahan led a 4-man negotiations team, meeting with a 2-man Saudi team.  It took 4-meetings to come to a conclusion working together was better than the costly court fights straight ahead.

And no one wanted to talk about the anti-trust lawsuits, the legal costs, the potential damages, and what would show up in discovery.

Trust me this bitter argument is not over.  The PGA prided itself it was run by the players, but they were in the dark till 10am on Tuesday.  Monahan violated his own bylaws to do this deal.  The ‘tight circle of information’ excluded the most important people, the players and the Tour Policy Board.

The structure of the deal has Monahan becoming the CEO of the new syndicate.  A Saudi banker will lead the Board of Directors.

The PGA will run every facet of the ‘golf operation’ between the lines, the tourneys, the rules, the global schedule.

Shocking is the fact the new the Public Investment Fund will become a major corporate sponsor of the tour, will help operate the European corner of golf and guide business investments abroad.

The Grand Slam events, the four majors, will operate as usual.

The LIV ‘team concept’ will likely be part of the European schedule.

The big names stars, who took their pay days and bonus money in a yearly schedule, will see Saudi money end at the end of this year’s LIV schedule.

No penalty for guys violating their Tour card and leaving?  No penalty for the LIV guys who tampered with the PGA players?

What happens to the TV contracts the PGA has and will there be a demand for increased rights fees now that there is global peace?

What happens to the LPGA Tour, whom both Monahan and the Saudi’s were offering assistance?

Phil Mickelson and friends come back to the tour, having to earn their way.  Still to be seen will be whether there are cut-lines and how they reinsert the Global Points rankings for 2024, all part of the PGA way of doing things.

In the history of sports, the NFL was challenged by the AFL, and when the upstart league started stealing quarterbacks, a merger took place leading to the bonanza business the NFL and its Super Bowls became.

Basketball had the ABA and its wild rules challenge the NBA for a short term, before the salaries sank it, but the ABA sent alot of good young players to the NBA.

The WHA took NHL stars and went for 9-years before it ran out of money and 4-WHA teams came on board.

The governing auto racing body of CART ran the Indy 500 and the sport until the upstart Indy Racing League was formed that nearly led to the death of open wheel racing.

This war lasted 18-months in golf and we have not heard the end of it.  But we know this for certain.

It was called a ‘Landmark moment for golf’.   Others think it was lousy moment in sports history.  A big day is likely a sad day, the PGA doing business with the shameful things the Saudi nation stands for.

Why does it feel like Jay Monahan should be called a Judas.

The fans will get to see all the stars who left, plus the new young guns the PGA discovered the last two years, but this day leaves a dark feeling on your soul.

Wonder what Jack Nicklaus thinks?  What Ben Hogan, Sam Snead or Arnie Palmer would from the grave?  Waiting for Tiger Woods to tell us his thoughts.

Money over morality, that’s what this day in golf looked like.

‘Blood Money’ now part of the conversation with birdies, bogeys, big shots.




Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published.