PGA Tour veteran Tom Watson is still in the dark about the PGA Tour – Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) deal. Months after writing an open letter to PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, the Tour’s Policy Board and his fellow Tour members, Watson has now revealed that he has not received answers on the controversial merger deal.
For the unversed, eight-time major champion Watson had asked more than a dozen questions in his open letter to the PGA Tour officials. However, the 73-year-old has now stated that he received “none” of his questions answered. Speaking on an episode of the 5 Clubs podcast hosted by Gary Williams, Watson said that it’s “sad” he’s still waiting for an explanation.
Replying to a query on whether he received a reply to his open letter, Tom Watson said, as quoted by Golfweek:
“I had none. This was a complete departure of where I thought the Tour should go… The sad thing about it is the questions in that letter haven’t been answered. Not a single one. We’re waiting for answers. I can’t comment on it until we get the answers.”
Notably, Watson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and one of the game’s most distinguished players, had written the open letter in June. The ace golfer, in his letter, had questioned a number of things related to the merger, including details of the merger, the benefits of it on the American circuit and its players.
Tom Watson says the PGA Tour board needed more player involvement in the PIF deal
Having not received any answers, Watson weighed in on the direction the PGA Tour was headed and slammed the circuit. He said that the PGA “board needed a restructuring” as it went behind players’ backs with a non-transparent move regarding the PIF deal.
“I think the Board needed a restructuring so that the players had voting power because this is a players’ organization. This organization went outside of the due process. It wasn’t transparent at all. There were no players involved at all in the negotiations with PIF and Yasir (Al-Rumayyan, PIF’s chairperson). That needed to be.
That was a huge mistake, I think, and I think the players thought so too. A single player needed to be involved in that, at least. We have people that are making decisions that really shaping the future of PGA Tour golf and without player participation in those decisions, we’re going in the wrong direction.”
It is pertinent to note that Watson, in his letter, had emphasized the importance of keeping players in the loop. The veteran golfer had made critical remarks about the unusual nature of the merger deal announcement as well. Watson, who has over 50 years of association with the Tour, even criticized Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks.