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Icon Demands Answers After PGA Tour’s Deal With LIV Golf

  • Lengthy open letter seeks details on deal terms, asks series of questions
  • Eight-time major winner has long been an influential voice in the sport
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network
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Add one of golf’s most accomplished players to those questioning the shocking PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger.

Tom Watson — whose eight major championships still rank sixth all-time — wrote a lengthy open letter to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, PGA Tour board members, and “my fellow players.”

In it, he rebuked the secret nature of the deal’s construction, asked for details regarding the Tour’s finances and the deal’s terms, and alleged a blatant disregard to Saudi Arabia’s woeful record on human rights.

“A matter this profound deserves thorough vetting by a representative group of stakeholders which include those, who in the end, define the public image and emotional connection with the PGA Tour,” Watson wrote. “Have funds been depleted to the point where the Tour needs an unprecedented capital injection to remain solvent?”

Though Watson’s last PGA Tour victory was in 1998 and his last major title in 1983, he still carries sizable influence in the sport and has also been active in spurring youth participation in golf.

Watson concluded his letter by asking for a way to preserve his loyalty to both golf and the U.S. in the wake of the massive deal — “and in a way that makes it easy to look 9/11 families in the eye and ourselves in the mirror.”

Monahan, meanwhile, continues to recover from an unspecified “medical condition,” and the U.S. Department of Justice is now reviewing the PGA Tour’s deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

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