Hunter Mahan says PGA Tour players are “done with” their commissioner, Jay Monahan.
Via a tweet posted this week, the comments from the six-time Tour winner and three-time Ryder Cupper come after the Tour, the DP World Tour and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund agreed to a deal that would create a new, for-profit enterprise and end pending litigation among the sides. In the weeks since the announcement in early June between the tours and the fund that backs year-old LIV Golf , though, players have said they have received little insight into the deal’s details, with Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Tom Kim and Scottie Scheffler being questioned on the process this week at the Scottish Open.
Drawing Mahan’s attention was a Spieth answer on Wednesday to a question on potential “trust issues” Monahan will have to face. Below is Spieth’s answer, which was shared by Twitter site NUCLR GOLF, and Mahan’s comment, which came as a response.
“Yeah, quite a bit, just based on conversations I’ve had with players, and I think he realizes that,” Spieth said. “I’m sure he’s preparing for a plan to try and build it back.”
To which Mahan wrote:
“Players are done with him, except I’m not what the process is for removing him. Great time for players to find real representation.”
Mahan’s comment came a day after Ron Price, the Tour’s chief operating officer, and Jimmy Dunne, an independent director on the Tour’s policy board, were questioned about the Saudi deal at a Senate subcommittee hearing. There, GOLF’s Alan Bastable reported, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) at one point asked Price how many players were notified of the potential Tour-PIF agreement before it was announced to the public on June 6.
“I don’t believe any players were notified,” Price said.
“None?” Blumenthal said.
“Not a single player was notified?” Blumenthal continued. “You’re a membership organization, your members are the players, you don’t exist without the players, but you didn’t tell a single one of them about the negotiations, let alone what the result would be, before you announced it publicly?”
“It was the settlement of litigation, which was binding,” Price said. “And then we told the players that we’d go through a process of making them fully involved with anything we do relative to the definitive agreement, which we’re in the process of doing.”
At the Scottish Open, the hearing has brought on a series of questions to players. On Wednesday, Scheffler was asked if there was anything he was “concerned about going forward.”
“They keep saying it’s a player-run organization, and we don’t really have the information that we need,” Scheffler said Wednesday. “I watched part of [the hearing] yesterday and didn’t learn anything. So I really don’t know what to say.”
Should players, Scheffler was asked, have been involved in helping to shape the Tour-Saudi deal?
“Should I have been?” Scheffler said. “Probably not. But I’m sure that a few of our players members should probably have been involved.”
Notably, the agreement was reportedly negotiated by just four people — Monahan, policy board members Ed Hirlihy and Jimmy Dunne, and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the PIF governor. Monahan took a leave from his post in mid-June to treat an undisclosed illness, but in the weeks before Monahan’s departure, Schauffele said, the commissioner should have been more communicative.
“If you want to call it one of the rockier times on Tour, the guy was supposed to be there for us, wasn’t,” Schauffele said. “Obviously he had some health issues. I’m glad that he said he’s feeling much better. But yeah, I’d say he has a lot of tough questions to answer in his return, and yeah, I don’t trust people easily. He had my trust, and he has a lot less of it now. So I don’t stand alone when I say that.
“Yeah, he’ll just have to answer our questions when he comes back.”