Matthew Fitzpatrick defends embattled PGA Tour chief after LIV Golf 'merger'

Matthew Fitzpatrick says he understand Jay Monahan's position. 

Ben Smith's picture
Fri, 9 Jun 2023
Matthew Fitzpatrick defends embattled PGA Tour chief after LIV Golf 'merger'

England's Matthew Fitzpatrick says he can understand why PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan chose to keep his big secret under lock and key. 

Monahan has faced calls to resign given his decision to align the tour's commercial interests with the backers of LIV Golf.

That was after what he has been saying for the better part of two years completely contradicts his public comments. 

He was reportedly jeered during a tense players' meeting before the Canadian Open, not too long after Rory McIlroy faced the media in his uncomfortable news conference. 

"Listen, I mean, there's a million one things going on right now," Fitzpatrick told the media, adding:

"It's obviously a tough question to answer. I never really got a formal offer anyway. It wasn't something I was interested in from the start. I purely spoke to them purely out of being nosy as to what they're going to do, what they're going to, what's the setup going to be.
"So, yeah, for me it didn't really make a difference. I was always going to be on the PGA Tour. Obviously for the guys that did turn down significant amounts of money then that's probably a tough one to swallow and I feel for them."

Does Fitzpatrick have an opinion that he has established of what should happen?

He said:

"No, obviously I knew this was going to happen. I knew I was going to get a million and one questions. I thought long and hard on how I'm going to answer them. And that's not really my job. I spoke to a few close friends of mine and listened to what they had to say, successful businessmen.
"All I can do is go and play great golf myself. Whether everyone comes back and plays in the field, I've still got to beat them in front of me.
"Everyone in this field, I've got to beat them in front of me. So obviously there's a potential sour taste in there for some guys coming back. But at the end of the day you're trying to beat the course and that's what I'm going to try and concentrate on."

Not for the first time has some LIV-related news overshadowed Canada's national open. It was precisely one year ago today the inaugural tee shot was struck by Dustin Johnson

The aforementioned McIlroy claimed victory in Canada then fired a shot at Greg Norman

Norman may not have a job in 2024, given the details from this report

"Obviously a lot of sympathy," Fitzpatrick said of the event. 

He continued:

"Obviously, arguably the best sponsor for the PGA Tour. They have done a fantastic job coming into Harbour Town. I remember when knowing that event so well and I know at times when it was looking for a sponsor and it was struggling to get a field.
"And RBC to come in and just take it over and pump the money that they have pumped in, like I say, pretty much second to none out here, in my opinion. So I think, I'm sure it was a tough one to take.
"But at the same time part of me understands where Jay's coming from and that it's got to be confidential and that it's got to be quiet and secret. Because the moment of any news of a deal got out, the whole world was going to explode, like it has. So I also have to understand that side as well."

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