CHARLOTTE – US PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says the idea of a peace deal with the LIV Golf Series is “off the table” as the sport’s civil war deepens.

The upstart Saudi-backed series brought turmoil to golf this year by luring big-name PGA players with record purses of US$25 million (S$35.5 million) and guaranteed money for 54-hole events.

Several LIV Golf players brought an anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA that is set for trial in early 2024, working against talk of uniting the two sides any time soon.

“I don’t see it happening,” Monahan told the Golf Channel this week at the Presidents Cup. “When you look at where we are, and you think about words and actions, we’re currently in a lawsuit.

“So coming together and having conversations, to me, that card is off the table and it has been for a long period of time.”

The PGA has made several changes for the 2022-23 season to ensure top talent plays more often for richer purses in a select dozen events, moves designed to prevent more big names departing for LIV Golf.

“We’re going to focus on things that we control,” Monahan said. “We have more assets at our disposal, stronger partnerships and we have the best players in the world… going to commit to play more.”

Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed were among the US players ineligible for the Presidents Cup after leaving the PGA for LIV.

The rival Internationals squad lost access to half a team of top talent, including British Open champion Cameron Smith, the world No. 3 from Australia, Chilean Joaquin Niemann, Mexican Abraham Ancer and Australian Marc Leishman.

LIV critics point to Saudi Arabian human rights issues and see its financing the golf upstarts as “sportswashing” in a bid for image improvement.

World No. 25 Kevin Kisner of the US Presidents Cup side backed Monahan’s reluctance to talk about a deal with LIV Golf.

“Who knows what the future would have held if he had a meeting with them, but I don’t think we were ever going to do business with them, feel comfortable just allowing them to pump an exorbitant amount of money in our tour,” Kisner said.

“They always wanted to come in and what we call ‘sportwash’ in our opinion and that’s not the way we want to do business on the PGA Tour.”

Last modified: September 23, 2022