‘We’re In The Dark’ – Jordan Spieth Critical Of Tour’s Handling Of Merger Saga

Jordan Spieth has hit out at the lack of information available to players as the fallout from the planned merger between the established tours and the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia continues.

PGA Tour representatives were called before the US Senate to answer questions related to how the shock deal came together amid concerns over “how a brutal, repressive regime can buy influence – indeed even take over – a cherished American institution simply to cleanse its public image.”

There were, understandably, plenty of takeaways from the hearing as Senator Blumenthal quizzed PGA Tour Chief Operating Officer Ron Price and Board Member Jimmy Dunne.

And Spieth, a former board member on the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council (PAC), was critical of the confusion surrounding the proposed deal and of Monahan’s absence from the hearing.

Asked for his thoughts at the Scottish Open, he said: “I guess I’m not exactly sure because it seems like you see reports, you hear things, and then you see reports, and then some things have changed and then other things have changed. Then there’s disagreements on a couple items.

“I think if there’s any disagreements, it won’t work. Honestly we’re very much in the dark on it. I don’t sit on the board and I’m not on the PAC either. You talk to a lot of other players, it’s been quite a shock from the get-go.

“I guess Jay is returning Monday and I’m sure as he starts to speak with you guys, maybe things have gone further. Clearly I think we would probably liked to have seen him at the Senate hearing if he was able to do so, just as a representative of the Tour.”

The 29-year-old was also asked if players had trust issues with Monahan, adding: “Yeah, quite a bit, just based on conversations I’ve had with players, and I think he realises that. I’m sure he’s preparing for a plan to try and build it back.”

During the hearing, Price, COO of the PGA Tour, spoke about the threat posed by the PIF if it remained a rival rather than an ally, admitting “the very survival of the PGA Tour” was in doubt.

However, Spieth doesn’t think that was reason enough not to consult players before brokering the deal that sent shockwaves through the sport.

“I don’t necessarily believe that just the differences in finances would create a threat to go through — to not look to just having options or at least communicating on why things would get done when they get done.

“I mean, it’s a member-run organisation with a voluntary board that’s supposed to look out for the interests of the PGA Tour players on the board. I don’t believe that these decisions had to be made without involving, call it players on the board and other board members. But that’s my opinion on the matter, and maybe there’s a reason. Again, I just don’t know.”


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