News & Tours

PGA Tour executive says Jay Monahan is expected to return to leadership after health issue, per report

June 28, 2023

Cliff Hawkins

Two executives running the PGA Tour while commissioner Jay Monahan recovers from a medical situation have revealed they anticipate the 53-year-old’s return.

On June 13, Tuesday night of U.S. Open week, the tour announced Monahan was “recuperating from a medical situation” and would step back from his duties. That came a week after Monahan stunned the sporting world by entering a commercial agreement with the Public Investment Fund, which finances LIV Golf. At the time, Monahan acknowledged criticism would follow given the tour’s sentimental stance against LIV Golf and Saudi Arabian investment, and he appeared at a contentious player meeting in Canada in which some players called for his resignation.

In the weeks since, PGA Tour chief operating officer Ron Price and president Tyler Dennis have jointly run the organization.

No further update on Monahan’s health or working status had been provided until Wednesday when, at Detroit Golf Club, ahead of this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, Dennis and Price spoke with Sports Illustrated about the agreement between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the PIF. They were asked if Monahan would come back.

“What we’ve been communicating to our constituents is that Jay is OK,” Dennis said. “We understand he’s recovering. The Monahan family has asked for privacy and continues to do so, and we’ve simply been respecting that.”

Then came the most important sentence of the response: “We do expect him to return.”

While Monahan has been away, very few details of the agreement between the two major tours and the PIF have been disclosed. A five-page document surfaced Monday detailing the deal, which called for a new agreement to be completed by the end of the year and included a non-solicitation agreement between the PGA Tour and LIV. That puts a hold on any further recruiting efforts by LIV.

But the question remained whether LIV Golf will fold in 2024 or beyond. Monahan previously said he “couldn’t see” a scenario in which LIV exists concurrently with the PGA Tour, although a “good faith assessment” of the rival league's business model and appeal was yet to be conducted. In the interview with SI, Dennis and Price were asked if all the best players in the world would compete on a single tour.

Dennis didn’t directly answer, saying instead: “I think you have to go back to what was announced and the spirit of the framework. And that’s simply that working together and working in a way that’s unified is going to be better for the sport, better for the professional game, better for the PGA Tour.”

The two execs did reveal the new, for-profit entity created out of the framework deal would see its name evolve from “NewCo” to “PGA Tour Enterprises.” Dennis and Price added that “the PGA Tour is the clear leader of this [entity] moving forward” and that the PIF’s chairman, Yasir al-Rumayyan, supported this.

Price said the tour itself would remain a tax-exempt non-profit 501(c)6 organization “because all the commercial activity has been moved out of it,” and that it would become “a regulatory body that oversees the sport … our competitions going forward.” PGA Tour Enterprises would count the PIF as a minority stakeholder.