LIV Golf star Phil Mickelson has called for PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan to be sacked as the rival tours struggle to ratify their ‘framework agreement’ by the imposed December 31 deadline. The future of elite men’s professional golf was thrown into disarray in June when Monahan delivered a bombshell announcement confirming that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf had agreed to drop their legal cases against each other in order to form a merged single entity.
The PGA boss endured the wrath of his own touring players who had been completely kept in the dark about the proposed merger until it was publicly announced.
Specific details of the so-called ‘framework agreement’, which also includes working with the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour), are supposed to be thrashed out before a deadline of the end of 2023, but with only a month to go, there is no indication of what a merged tour might look like.
With pressure growing on Monahan to secure the best deal for his tour members, LIV Golf rebel Mickelson, who was one of the first big-name stars to defect to the Saudi-funded breakaway golf league, has weighed in from the other side of the ring to call for his former PGA superior to be removed from his post.
After golf commentator Bob Ball published a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter) criticising Monahan, Mickelson replied by writing: “Well said. In addition to strong-arming LIV players, losing trust with his players, and all credibility with his staff, golf is in this situation entirely because of him [Monahan].
“There’s no unity or path forward with him involved in my opinion as well.”
Monahan’s shock decision to row back on his clear opposition to the creation of the LIV Golf League, which is underpinned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, was in stark contrast to his previous approach that has seen defecting players slapped with huge fines and barred from the PGA Tour.
However, after agreeing to work with the cash-rich outfit little progress appears to have been made beyond the negotiating table, with earlier suggestions that LIV Golf as a brand would disappear after the merger was ratified now looking to be well wide of the mark.
Leading PGA Tour star and all-time great Tiger Woods, who now sits on the tour’s advisory board attempted to publicly back Monahan this earlier this week but did not hide his frustration at how the tour commissioner went about agreeing to work with LIV.
When asked about the announcement ahead of the Hero World Challenge, Woods said: A lot of the players were taken back by it, what had happened and so quickly without any input or information about it. It was just thrown out there.
“We were very frustrated with what had happened and we took steps going forward to ensure that we [the players] were not going to be left out of the process like we were. And so part of that process was putting me on the board.
“I’m pleased with how the process has evolved but frustrated at the speed of some of the governance change. December 31st is coming very quickly and people are working tirelessly to make sure we have the best deal for the entire PGA Tour.”