PGA Tour players may look to hire private bankers to advise on the LIV Golf: Faber deal

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is taking a leave of absence as he recovers from a medical condition, the organization said in a statement late Tuesday, just days after the tour announced a deal to merge business interests with the Saudi-backed LIV golf league.

“Jay Monahan has informed the League’s Touring Policy Board that he is recovering from a medical condition,” the tour said in a statement. “The council fully supports Jay and appreciates everyone’s respect for his privacy.”

The tour did not specify the nature of his health condition, nor a timetable for his return. The tour added that it would provide further updates “as appropriate”.

News of Monahan’s health problems comes at a critical time. The PGA Tour and LIV Golf announced last week their decision to merge business operations to create a new golf entity with funds from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. During Monahan’s absence, the tour said executives Ron Rice and Tyler Dennis would lead day-to-day operations.

The Public Investment Fund said, in a statement, on Wednesday, that it had been informed of Monahan’s medical condition, and that it wished him a speedy recovery.

She added, “We are committed to working closely with the PGA’s leadership and Board of Directors to advance our previously announced deal to invest significantly in the growth of golf for the benefit of players and fans and to expand the game around the world.”

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The agreement came after months of litigation and tension between golf organizations. Raising doubts about whether the two sides could eventually withdraw from a merger.

Powerful Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has opened an investigation into the agreement. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, on Wednesday urged the Justice Department to open an antitrust investigation into the matter.

Monahan himself has it He faced severe criticism on the bargain.

There are also unresolved questions about equity and payment guarantees for PGA Tour players who turned down lucrative deals from LIV during the two organizations’ legal battle.

Players may look to hire their own investment bank to advise them as they seek to participate in a potential payday if deal, CNBC’s David Faber reported Wednesday.

The PGA Tour plays in Los Angeles for the US Open, one of the major sports tournaments. It is scheduled to launch on Thursday.

— CNBC’s David Faber contributed to this report.


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