PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has hit back at lawmakers, blaming government inaction which ultimately led to a deal being struck with LIV Golf's Saudi backers.
In a fiery letter that was obtained and published by Politico, the under-fire chief executive:
- Wrote he believed the PGA Tour did everything they could in the face of LIV Golf 'attacks'
- Claimed the PGA Tour largely had to fend for themselves due to the geopolitical alliance the U.S. holds with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Predicted that if they were not to strike a deal with the PIF the Tour were faced with the prospect of a legal battle lasting at least a decade
Related: LIV Golf pro dismisses Monahan's claim
Read the full letter here below:
"Over the past two years, the PGA Tour has fought an intense and highly publicized battle as the Saudi Arabian PIF-backed LIV golf league attempted to 'buy' PGA Tour players and take over the game of golf in the United States and beyond, creating a fractured golf ecosystem and fomenting a heated divisiveness into the game.
"We believe that we did everything we could possibly do to defend what we stand for, including spending tens of millions of dollars to defend ourselves from litigation instigated by LIV Golf – significant funds diverted away from our core mission to benefit our players and generate charity.
"As part of the litigation, we were successful in securing a court ruling that the PIF was not protected under sovereign immunity with respect to litigation discovery and potentially liability, something which had never been done before in the United States.
The letters goes on...
"During this intense battle, we met with several Members of Congress and policy experts to discuss the PIF's attempt to take over the game of golf in the United States, and suggested ways that Congress could support us in these efforts.
"While we are grateful for the written declarations of support we received from certain members, we were largely left on our own to fend off the attacks, ostensibly due to the United States' complex geopolitical alliance with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"This left the very real prospect of another decade of expensive and distracting litigation and the PGA Tour's long-term existence under threat."
Monahan's letter concluded:
"Rather than a foreign funded entity taking over an American sport, the end result is that the PIF has agreed to work within the existing golf ecosystem as a minority investor with the PGA Tour in full control.
"The PGA Tour is, and will remain, an American institution dedicated to its players and generating charity in the communities where we play."
Related: Tour pro says Monahan will get a parade
Monahan's letter came after the US Senate instigated an investigation into the planned commercial merger.
Democrat Richard Blumenthal (pictured) has asked for all documents relating to the plan. Those documents must be submitted by 26 June.
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