Rory McIlroy and Jay Monahan reportedly came under fire in an “intense” players’ meeting following the shock news that the PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia were to unite.
The meeting, which is said to have lasted more than an hour, took place on Tuesday at the RBC Canadian Open with commissioner Monahan joined by a large number of the circuit’s membership.
Golf Channel reported that many players at the gathering felt betrayed by Monahan’s new relationship with the PIF.
Monahan himself described the meeting as “intense” and “heated” in a session with the media after the crunch talks at Oakdale Golf and Country Club.
One unnamed player reported the majority of attendees were “very, very angry” and Monahan “was definitely getting attacked.”
The commissioner, who announced the new deal with PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan in a TV interview yesterday, started the meeting with an opening statement.
Roughly 30 players were allegedly quite vocal, but Rory McIlroy wasn’t one of these – before a verbal altercation with one-time tour winner Grayson Murray.
An anonymous player said Murray was coming out with outbursts such as “We don’t trust you, Jay – You should resign right now – You lied to our face.”
It’s unclear what led to McIlroy’s interjection, which was said to be, “Just play better, Grayson” – a comment which supposedly didn’t get a warm reception.
Murray then responded to the Northern Irishman, saying “f*** off.”
However, tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted to say the pair were “cordial and pleasant” after the meeting and the players were laughing about the comment.
McIlroy and Tiger Woods, who have emerged as senior figures in the PGA Tour’s player-led approach in the last 12 months, were said to have only found out about the ground-breaking new merger yesterday morning.
The Northern Irishman has often been a vocal critic of LIV Golf and has previously called for LIV’s CEO Greg Norman to step aside.
On the day after the big announcement, McIlroy addressed the media and asserted his hatred for LIV Golf.
The PGA Tour, the PIF, and the DP World Tour are set to form a new entity that will continue to embrace team golf and form a new schedule.
The PIF is set to become a premier corporate sponsor of this new venture and each party has vowed to begin a process to allow players to re-apply for their tour memberships again.
The likes of Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson made the controversial switch to the breakaway tour in 2022, but there is now a chance of a sensational return.
One player questioned why the Player Advisory Council exists if “the players have no say.”
“I’m glad I wasn’t Jay today,” former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy said to Golf Channel. “There are some grumpy players in there. I feel a little bit – I’m not lied to, but just that the tour has changed its position quickly and dropped it on us really fast.
“So, maybe there’s a feeling of a lack of trust in the leadership – it just feels like nobody really knows what’s happening and the players are out of the loop.
“But no one really ever likes being out of a loop. Everyone likes a bit of information, especially when it’s your livelihood and your job and the sport that you love.”
You can read what more players and figures from the golf world have said about the announcement here.
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