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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sent a memo to players on Wednesday night providing a number of significant updates regarding the Tour’s planned merger with the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) and, in turn, LIV Golf.
Monahan returned to his post as commissioner just last week after a health scare but has clearly been busy in the interim chipping away at the framework of the proposed new deal. There are three major points from the most-recent memo that stand out.
Compensating Players Who Remained Loyal To The PGA Tour
One of the biggest questions surrounding the potential merger has been whether or not PGA Tour loyalists would be rewarded for not making a jump to the Saudi-backed circuit. Thanks to this latest memo from Monahan we seem to have the answer, sort of.
What is being called a ‘Player Benefit Program’ is in the works, but has not yet been definitively agreed upon.
“This program, should we reach a Definitive Agreement, will be financially significant in total and incremental to our planned compensation package,” the memo stated. It should also be noted that the Tour is obtaining “player input” on what this structured loyalist program may look like.
A Pathways Back For LIV Players To Return To The Tour
PGA Tour loyalists being compensated has much to do with whether or not LIV players, who in some cases took hundreds of millions to leave the Tour, would be welcomed back.
The memo makes it very clear that LIV players returning to the Tour is very much on the table.
“A task force is evaluating developing potential pathways back to the PGA Tour for LIV players who wish to reapply in the future,” the memo states.
The memo does not, however, mention whether LIV players would face some sort of discipline in returning to the Tour.
Players simply returning to the Tour after signing with LIV for millions of dollars and not facing any discipline is tough to imagine, but coming up with a program that would ‘properly’ discipline them may be an even tougher ask.
PGA Tour Not On Board With Rolling Back The Golf Ball
With the PGA Tour – LIV Golf merger dominating the golf world for nearly two months, the proposed local rule of rolling back the golf ball has taken a backseat. The PGA Tour plans to keep it that way, too.
Monahan stated in the memo that the Tour is “not able to support” the proposed local rule as there is a “significant belief” among Tour players that the rule is not warranted nor “in the best interest of the game.”
The USGA and R&A announced plans to roll back the golf ball back in March with sights set on January 2026 for the local rule to be adopted in “elite competitions.” The proposal pinpointed 317 yards, with a three-yard tolerance, to be the “Overall Distance Standard.”
There have been mixed reviews among Tour players about whether or not ‘nerfing’ the golf ball is needed at this time.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris