PGA Tour Recap: Top 5 Times Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Co. Exposed Jay Monahan in 2023

Published 12/31/2023, 6:30 AM EST

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June 6 is the date when the Golf world was turned on its head. June 6 is also the date when everything went south for Jay Monahan. The cracks in the glass palace soon started to show up. How the $3B LIV Golf-PGA Tour merger pans out is anyone’s guess, although reports indicate it is likely to get pushed till April. But PGA Tour players have time and again exposed that the rollout was a disaster and slammed the top brass for their poor handling of the matter. 

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From Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth to Viktor Hovland, veterans and youngsters were unanimous in condemning Monahan for his clandestine dealings with PIF. As the December 31 deadline inches closer, we look at five times players voiced their frustration against the management. 

Rory McIlroy feels like a “sacrificial lamb” 

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Jay Monahan’s messed up merger rollout even turned the most ardent advocate of the PGA Tour against him. Although McIlroy never directly called for the head honcho’s ouster, he admitted feeling like a “sacrificial lamb” in the wake of the framework agreement. 

Notably, McIlroy was a member of the Tour Policy board, when Monahan made the announcement. Yet, the 24-time PGA Tour winner had no clue until a few hours before the final rollout. Many believe the Northern Irish golfer’s frustration with the Tour was his actual reason for resigning from the board

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Viktor Hovland slammed the arrogance of the top brass

Even the rising star of the Tour was left disgruntled with the top brass. The Norwegian was unequivocal in his criticism of how they have handled the merger. Speaking on the Fore! podcast, the 2023 PGA Tour Championship winner said, “But the management has not done a good job. They almost see the players as labor and not as part of the members. After all, we are the PGA Tour. Without the players, there is nothing.” Adding further, Viktor Hovland called out the executives for their arrogance. “They are not professional golfers after all. There is a great deal of arrogance behind it all,” he said.

Jordan Spieth feels Jay Monahan has to regain trust

Jordan Spieth admitted in a press conference that Jay Monahan has lost the players’ trust after his shocking volte-face. In response to questions on whether Monahan has lost his credibility, the 13-time PGAT winner said, “Quite a bit, just based on conversations I’ve had with players. And I think he realizes that.” On the other hand, Xander Schauffele had a more strong opinion on Jay Monahan’s position and even suggested his replacement.

Xander Schauffele would prefer a new CEO

USA Today via Reuters

Perhaps the most vocal among the stars was Xander Schauffele. “I wouldn’t mind seeing some new leadership take place on our circuit,” Schaufflee said in a tell-all interview with Today’s Golfer. Echoing his compatriot, the seven-time PGA Tour winner said, “I would be lying if I said that I have a whole lot of trust after what happened. That’s definitely the consensus that I get when I talk to a lot of guys. Slamming the Tour for keeping players in the dark about a momentous decision, the 30-year-old said, “It’s a bit contradictory when they call it ‘our Tour’ and things can happen without us even knowing.

That being said, even more golfers came forward to slam the PGA Tour Commissioner.

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Jay Monahan being called a hypocrite in players’ meeting 

Jay Monahan knew he had to face backlash from players for his 180-degree turn. He admitted players might feel they have been stabbed in the back and would blame him for what happened. One PGA Tour pro actually called him a “hypocrite” to his face in a heated post-merger meeting, Jeoff Ogilvy revealed later.

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It’s apparent that the players have lost their faith in the commander-in-chief. How Jay Monahan handles the final merger will decide his future in the Tour.

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

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I, Parnab Bhattacharya, am a budding golf writer at EssentiallySports. I am keen on constantly exploring my deep-rooted love for golf through my long-time passion for writing. With a strong knack for storytelling and experience in SEO content writing, I bring a unique blend of fluent writing and technical expertise.
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