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  • Alistair Tait

The Height of Golf Hypocrisy

Updated: Jul 4, 2023


“Where money is concerned, I'm afraid you don't know anyone.”


That line certainly applies to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. It also sits nicely on European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley's shoulders.


How these two hypocrites are still in jobs beggars belief.


The line is from "Hombre," one of the best westerns ever made. Fredric March utters it to Martin Balsam. March plays Doctor Alex Favor, an Indian Agent who has stolen $10,000 from Indians whose welfare he’s supposed to be responsible for. Paul Newman, in the lead role of John Russell, aka Hombre, takes the money from March to return it to the Indians. Balsam, who plays stage coach driver Henry Mendez, tries to persuade March that Newman’s intentions are honourable. March is having none of it. He’s of the opinion that anyone/everyone is consumed by greed, no matter their stated principles.


Sound familiar?


For the last 18 months or so Monahan and Pelley have been sitting on their high horses treating LIV players like lepers, banning them from their respective circuits because they decided to sign up to a rival golf tour. Monahan shamelessly played the 9/11 card, alleging that anyone who took Saudi blood money was immoral/unethical. He threw Rory McIlroy under the proverbial bus. Pelley treated long-standing members like Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Paul Casey like dirt. These Ryder Cup stalwarts were told they weren’t welcome to grace European Tour fairways. That’s the Ryder Cup that has been such a cash cow for the tour for years. Short memory, huh?


Last week’s announcement that Monahan and Pelley had signed a long term deal with LIV Golf arguably rendered this pair as the biggest hypocrites in professional sport. From threatened legal action against the so-called rebels to come back boys all is forgiven. From LIV Golf poses a serious threat to golf’s ecosystem to giving it the keys to the ecosystem gates. From Monahan’s repugnance of Saudi money to now wanting to get his hands on as much of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as possible.


Are you kidding me?


There’s been a lot written on this issue over the past week. I love Martin Kaymer’s quote to the Daily Telegraph’s excellent golf writer James Corrigan. The former world number one said he was…

"…really looking forward now to the reaction of all the people who said ‘we don’t want to play for blood money… we don’t want to sell our soul'. Well now they need to move to Japan (and play on the Japan Tour), in order to stay true to their word."

If Monahan and Pelley had taken a pragmatic approach to LIV Golf from the outset, treated it just like another professional golf tour like the Asian, Japanese or Sunshine Tours instead of throwing hissy fits to try to drive it out, then they wouldn’t be having to grovel the way they’re grovelling now.


The justifications for merging with LIV Golf over the last week have been absolutely pathetic, embarrassing. No wonder so many players who stayed loyal to the PGA and European Tours are mad as hell. How Pelley and Monahan can look those players in the eye now is beyond me. Mind you, how they can stare in the mirror every morning and feel good about themselves after their volte-face is also beyond me.


If they had any sense of decency they’d tender their resignations, but then when money is concerned we don’t know anyone, do we?


#JustSaying:It’s such a hypocritical world that we live in… so, it’s even more important to make your own decisions. Don’t judge too much because, when all is said and done, you might do the same thing." Martin Kaymer

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