PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan met with players at the FedEx St. Jude Championship on Tuesday evening. Rickie Fowler was one of 25 players in attendance as more surfaced about the timeline of the LIV Golf deal.
Fowler acknowledged that this isn’t the first time the PGA Tour has dealt with questionable investments. The PGA Tour has done business with China, and they don’t have the most respected reputation.
“I’ve been pretty open through the process of not necessarily being against PIF or Saudi [Arabia] in any way or where the money comes from,” Fowler said. “No one is clean or perfect. The Tour has been in business with China for years. Not saying it’s right to do something with PIF or Saudi [Arabia] or not.”
Like Saudi Arabia, China has also not had the best record on human rights. Yet, as he pointed out, the tour had been doing business there for years.
Fowler also explained that the meeting was about more details surrounding the planned alliance with the DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment fund, per ESPN. He admitted that Monahan once again acknowledged how the Tour handled the roll-out of the alliance was not handled well.
Monahan and the PGA Tour Policy Board directors negotiated this deal secretly, and the players didn’t find out until it went public on June 6th. Fowler thought it was a “bummer” that this couldn’t have happened three years ago when all of this started.
The former Oklahoma State Cowboy has never been one of the players that opposed LIV Golf. Rumors surrounded him leaving for the rival Tour the last couple years, but Fowler ultimately stayed with the PGA Tour.
But like everyone, he has his focus on the future.
“If our leadership ultimately thinks it’s the best option to move forward and potentially for the future, and that can be sold to the players,” Fowler said. “Everyone is on board and sees that or thinks that’s the best option, great. We do it together.”
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and on Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.