PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says leave of absence came from ‘anxiety’ of LIV deal


The PGA Tour’s decision to strike a deal with the Saudi’s Public Investment Fund that supports LIV Golf took its toll on commissioner Jay Monahan.

Monahan received harsh criticism from all over — fans, 9/11 families and Tour Members, current and former, alike.

Just about a week after the deal was announced on June 6, Monahan took a leave of absence to deal with a “medical situation.” He did not return until July 17.

On Wednesday, he revealed that his leave of absence was due to the stress he was facing from the deal.


Jay Monahan in June 2022

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks during a news conference before the start of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

“I think the reality for me was that I was dealing with anxiety, which created physical and mental health issues and challenges for me,” Monahan said. “And I realized that I needed to step away and to deal with that and understand how to develop the skills to deal with that going forward.

“To step away at that point in time was very difficult for me, but I needed to take care of myself and my family, and ultimately come back here stronger than I’ve ever been to lead the PGA Tour forward. And my family and my doctors supported me coming back.”

“I think everyone knows my nature and my nature is to always be one to run into a fight or a conflict, not run away from it,” Monahan continued. “Because I had world-class medical care, I fully committed to the process. I was not going to come back until I was told by doctors and medical experts and my wife and my girls that I was fully supported in coming back. And that was not something that was a certainty when I stepped away.”

Jay Monahan speaks

Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA Tour speaks to the media in a press conference prior to THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 07, 2023 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


Monahan discussed the deal in secret, leaving just about everybody in the dark until the announcement was made.

Despite the PGA’s superstars remaining loyal to the tour, though, Monahan not only merged with the PGA’s former rival, but he also said in a memo to his players that the PIF will be “contributing … a significant financial investment” in the deal.

“The new agreement will merge the PIF’s golf-related businesses, which include LIV Golf, with that of the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour into a”​​new, collectively owned, for-profit entity to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from a model that delivers maximum excitement and competition among the game’s best players,” Monahan said in a press release at the time.

Jay Monahan speaks at podium

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan addresses the media during a press conference prior to the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 22, 2022 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)


The agreement will end all pending litigation involving the three golf circuits and will allow for those players who left their respective tours to reapply for membership following the 2023 season.


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