Jay Monahan, the under-fire commissioner of US golf’s PGA Tour, has handed day-to-day control of the organization to two senior executives while recovering from an undisclosed medical situation.
A statement from Monahan and the PGA Tour Policy Board said during Monahan's absence, the circuit will be led by chief operating officer Ron Price and executive vice president and president Tyler Dennis.
It said: “The Board fully supports Jay and appreciates everyone respecting his privacy. [Price and Dennis] will lead the day-to-day operations of the PGA Tour with the assistance of the great team Jay has built, ensuring seamless continuity.
“We will provide further updates as appropriate.”
Price and Dennis added: “Our thoughts are with Jay and his family during his absence, and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“We have a strong and experienced leadership team in place and our priority is to support our players and continue the work underway to further lead the PGA Tour and golf’s future.”
Monahan has faced a week of intense scrutiny after the shock announcement that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) had agreed to merge their commercial operations the golf businesses of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), including bitter rival the LIV Golf series.
The deal was negotiated secretly over seven weeks without the knowledge of the PGA Tour members, including members of the Player Advisory Council and the Policy Board, or broadcast partners.
The subsequent fall-out saw players call for Monahan's resignation during an “intense and certainly heated” meeting, while human rights groups have criticized him and the tour for their sudden U-turn after spending 18 months using the issue to paint Saudi Arabia’s entry into professional golf as a sportswashing exercise.
Defending the move, Monahan conceded that he will be labeled a “hypocrite” but that the agreement was made in the best interests of the PGA Tour members.
Earlier this week, the leader of a US Senate subcommittee Richard Blumenthal requested all documents relating to the tie-up after launching an investigation, including any communication relating to the agreement between board members and executive management for both organizations and any internal communications about how the agreement could impact the tour’s tax-exempt status.
The documents requested must be provided by June 26.
Monahan is the fourth commissioner of the PGA Tour. He joined the organization in 2008 as executive director of the Players’ Championship before moving to an executive role in 2013. He then succeeded Tim Finchem as commissioner in 2017.
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