PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on Sunday defended his determination to ban gamers on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf collection, vowing insurgent gamers couldn’t anticipate to “free-ride” off loyal members.
In his first public feedback because the tour introduced suspensions towards 17 present or former PGA Tour gamers for his or her participation in LIV golf, Monahan stated the bans had been crucial to guard the pursuits of the tour.
“It has been an unlucky week that was created by some unlucky selections,” Monahan stated in a tv interview with CBS on the sidelines of the Canadian Open.
“It is my job to guard, defend and rejoice our loyal PGA Tour members, our companions and our followers and that is precisely what I did.”
Gamers who’ve opted to affix the profitable Saudi-backed collection in defiance of the PGA Tour laws presently haven’t any pathway again to the tour’s occasions.
Requested why LIV golfers merely couldn’t be allowed to play on each circuits, Monahan replied: “I might reply the query by asking a query. And that’s, why do they want us so badly?
“These gamers have chosen to signal multi-year, profitable contracts to play in a collection of exhibition matches towards the identical gamers, again and again.”
Monahan contrasted that with Sunday’s climax to the RBC Canadian Open, the place Rory McIlroy was topping the leaderboard in a gripping closing spherical.
“One of the best gamers on the planet are right here, with hundreds of thousands of followers watching,” Monahan stated.
“On this recreation it is true, pure competitors that creates the profile and the presence of the world’s best gamers.
“And that is why they want us, that is what we do. We’re not going to permit gamers to free-ride off our loyal members, the very best gamers on the planet.”
Monahan wouldn’t be drawn on whether or not the gamers suspended by the PGA Tour may ever return to the circuit.
“We decided final week to droop these gamers,” he stated. “They’re not eligible for match play. And at this level that’s all we’re ready to speak to.
“We’ll see how issues proceed to develop as we go down the highway.”
Monahan in the meantime expressed sympathy with households of victims of the September 11, 2001 assaults on New York and Washington who’ve slammed the choice of gamers to affix the Saudi-funded collection.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers concerned in 9/11 had been from Saudi Arabia. Terry Strada, the widow of a 9/11 sufferer, stated in an open letter on Friday that LIV golfers had “insulted” the reminiscence of family members by becoming a member of the collection.
“I’ve two households near me that misplaced family members on 9/11, so my coronary heart goes out to them,” Monahan stated.
“I might ask any participant that has left (the PGA Tour), or any participant that will think about leaving ‘Have you ever ever needed to apologise for being a member of the PGA Tour?'”