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PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan steps away to recover from ‘medical situation’

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PGA Tour

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will be taking a temporary leave from his day-to-day duties due to a “medical situation.” Monahan, who succeeded Tim Finchem as commissioner in January 2017, made this decision amidst calls for his resignation in light of plans for a merger with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). The announcement of the merger caused disappointment and a sense of betrayal among players, including world number two Jon Rahm. In Monahan’s absence, president Tyler Dennis and chief operating officer Ron Price will assume leadership responsibilities within the organization, as stated in a joint statement by Monahan and the PGA Tour. The board fully supports Monahan and requests privacy, with further updates to be provided when appropriate.

The unexpected merger between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, along with the involvement of PIF, put on hold pending litigation between the tours. The merger signifies a joint enterprise going forward. However, players were not consulted prior to the decision, leading to a tense meeting where some players demanded new leadership within the organization.

Monahan had previously expressed that players who joined the Saudi-backed LIV circuit, which launched last year with a $2 billion investment, would not be welcomed back on the PGA Tour. Masters champion Jon Rahm, who declined a reported $200 million offer to join LIV, learned about the merger through text messages, prior to the US Open. The US Senate is currently investigating the deal due to concerns regarding PIF’s connection to the Saudi government and the PGA Tour’s abrupt change in stance regarding LIV Golf.

Amnesty International, a human rights organization, views the merger announcement as another attempt by Saudi Arabia to divert attention from its human rights record, a practice known as sportswashing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about PGA Tour, merger, controversy

Why is PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan taking a medical leave?

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is taking a medical leave to recover from a “medical situation.” The specific details of his condition have not been disclosed, but it has prompted him to step away from his day-to-day operations.

What led to the calls for Jay Monahan’s resignation?

The calls for Jay Monahan’s resignation were prompted by the announcement of a merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). Many players felt betrayed by the management’s decision to proceed with the merger without consulting them, leading to a heated meeting where some players demanded new leadership within the organization.

Who will lead the PGA Tour in Jay Monahan’s absence?

During Jay Monahan’s absence, the PGA Tour will be led by president Tyler Dennis and chief operating officer Ron Price. They will assume the responsibilities of running the organization until Monahan’s return.

What is the status of the merger between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour?

The merger between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, which also involves the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, has been announced but is currently on hold due to pending litigation between the tours. The merger represents a joint enterprise going forward.

Why is the US Senate investigating the PGA Tour-PIF merger?

The US Senate is investigating the PGA Tour-PIF merger because it raises concerns about the Public Investment Fund’s connection to the Saudi government and the PGA Tour’s sudden reversal of position regarding the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit. The investigation aims to address these issues and shed light on the circumstances surrounding the merger.

What is “sportswashing” and how does it relate to the merger announcement?

“Sportswashing” refers to the practice of using sports events or initiatives to divert attention from controversial issues, such as human rights abuses. Amnesty International, a human rights group, sees the merger announcement as an attempt by Saudi Arabia to sportswash its human rights record, drawing attention away from the country’s violations.

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