Report: PGA Tour boss convinced tycoon to drop $1bn LIV Golf investment

The PGA Tour commissioner reportedly prevented a huge company from investing in LIV Golf. 

Lara Kuipers's picture
Fri, 2 Jun 2023
Report: PGA Tour boss convinced tycoon to drop $1bn LIV Golf investment

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reportedly convinced Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel out of investing in Greg Norman's LIV Golf. 

Endeavor is a talent agency, formed between WME and IMG. 

WME Sports recently signed PGA Championship star Michael Block, who burst onto the scene as he contended at the season's second major championship. The major was won by LIV Golf star Brooks Koepka.

Endeavor CEO Emanuel recently went on Freakonomics Radio, where he revealed that the company nearly invested $1 billion into the LIV Golf series. 

The company was reportedly pitched by Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, two current members of the Saudi-funded league. 

But Emanuel says it was the PGA Tour commissioner who talked him out of investing in the rival circuit.

"We're all connected in golf," Emanuel said on the radio, per Golf Digest. "And [the PGA Tour] said, 'Please don't do it.' So we stopped. I'm friends with Jay [Monahan]. We have a lot of business with Jay. I don't want to hurt Jay."

However, Emanuel added that the accusations of sportswashing did not factor into their decision.

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"I haven't really thought about it," he said. "I have enough on my plate. They're doing what they're doing."

He also said that he told Monahan that he needed to provide a response to the league, which holds lucrative purses. 

"You have got to figure out an economic solution here because … it's going to force you," Emanuel said. "And he did. To his credit, I think Jay did an incredible job."

One response by the PGA Tour towards LIV Golf was introducing more elevated tournaments - now called designated events. These events promise stronger fields and more money than the average tournament. 

This week is one of these events, Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament hosted at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio. 

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