The PGA Tour Commissioner labeled LIV an exhibition series of free riders

J Monahan PGA

File photo: March 13, 2020; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA; PGA Commissioner J Monahan speaks to the media after the cancellation of the 2020 edition of the Players Championship Golf Tournament at the TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Compulsory Credit: Adam Haggi – USA Today Sports

TORONTO – PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan on Sunday visited players at the forefront of golf conflicts with the LIV Golf Invitational Series at the Canadian Open and blasted those who jumped into the Saudi-backed initiative as free-riders.

With the Canadian Open and LIV opening events at Centurion Club outside London, both played over the weekend, it marked the first head-to-head showdown between the PGA Tour and the controversial Big-Money Breakway series, which sought to shake golf’s stability.

A 54-hole format, without any cuts and bolted to a team element, is being hailed as an exciting new era for golf but Monahan has dismissed it as nothing more than a series of exhibitions and inspired by an initiative that has cost billions. Raised the question. There is no chance of being profitable.

Critics say the IV 250 million LIV project, funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), is nothing more than a shameless “sports wash” as a nation seeks to improve its reputation in the light of human rights concerns.

“You have to ask yourself why,” Monahan said in a televised interview at St George’s Golf and Country Club during the final round on Sunday. “Why is this team spending so much money, hiring billions upon billions of players and running after an idea where there is no chance of a return.

“Those players have chosen to sign multi-year lucrative contracts to play in a series of repeated exhibition matches against the same players.

“You look at the opposite of what we see here today.

“We will not allow players to be our trusted members, the best players in the world to travel for free.”

On Sunday, Rory McIlroy ended a tumultuous week for a game marked by successful defense, verbal altercation and threats to his Canadian Open title.

In the midst of the excitement, the Northern Irishman, a vocal supporter of the PGA Tour, gave one last shot to LIV CEO and former golfer Great Greg Norman after collecting his 21st PGA Tour title.

“This is a day I will remember for a long, long time, winning the 21st PGA Tour, more than anyone else (Norman), which gave me some extra motivation today,” McIlroy told a Greenside reporter.

Monahan, who suspended all current and future players who decided to join the breakaway series on Thursday, did not apologize for leaving the team, including six-time winners Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson Dichambeu and Sergio Garcia.

But Monahan also suggested that those who would sign the Saudi-backed initiative could have one for their families and survivors of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, who sent a letter, according to a New York Post report. Golfers’ representatives are expressing their displeasure over their participation in the new league.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi nationals, killing nearly 3,000 people. A U.S. government commission has found no evidence that Saudi Arabia directly financed al Qaeda.

“I would ask any player who is gone or any player who would consider leaving have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?” Monahan said.

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