What’s the going rate to turn an American executive into a boot boy for a despotic torturer such as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? Just how worn out are the knees of PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan’s pants legs?

But let’s start with this simple question first: Why would the PGA Tour join forces with a vermin-populated fourth-rate start-up such as LIV Golf, a comedic failure that can’t command any ratings, headed by that king of the white mice, Greg Norman?

Bought. That’s the only word for Monahan and his henchies on the PGA Tour policy board, who have made an otherwise inexplicable — and still vague — deal to work with LIV and the European tour to form a new global enterprise, funded by the Saudis. They were bought. The only question is for how many bills.

The PGA Tour had all the leverage. Sure, Brooks Koepka’s victory at the PGA Championship was a good storyline, but it wasn’t especially wounding to the PGA Tour. If anything, it made you wonder how long Koepka would be content to play customer golf in the bush league, now that he had his form back.

Koepka’s star quality took an undeniable hit from his association with LIV, not to mention the Netflix documentary “Full Swing,” which revealed him as a manifestly shallow ding-dong. It will take a few more major victories to erase the quivering faintheartedness he showed during his career downturn, when he feared he couldn’t win on the PGA Tour anymore.

Let’s face it. Koepka and his fellow LIVers dived for the Saudi blood money like that guy pushing women and children aside to get in a lifeboat in “Titanic.” It was going to be pretty funny watching them try to get back on the deck of the big ship.


Here was Monahan last year, talking to Jim Nantz on CBS about accepting Saudi sports-washing money. After unctuously invoking the pain of 9/11 families, he said, “I would ask any player that has left or any player that would consider leaving, ‘Have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?'”

So what other sour ingredients are baked into this strange cake, along with total secrecy, inside dealing and what appears to be a rampant conflict of interest? Somehow, Monahan and Edward Herlihy, the chair of the PGA Tour policy board, wound up hand in hand with his excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan as the leaders of this new for-profit global golf organization funded by a fresh infusion of Saudi “capital.” This organization is so committed to unifying the game that no actual golfers knew about the deal until it hit social media.

Somewhere along this very muddy line, the PGA Tour found itself advised by the New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Which is interesting, because who is a partner and co-chair of that firm? Herlihy. And what sort of work does the firm mainly do? Multibillion-dollar mergers and acquisitions. It’s also known for its uniquely profitable billing system: It doesn’t hit clients with just billable hours but also large flat fees and sometimes percentages of deals.

And what did Herlihy’s firm evidently advise the PGA Tour to do? Merge.

And who was one of the firm’s three lawyers representing the PGA Tour in this deal while also sitting as chair of its policy board? Herlihy.

Herlihy was “key to the development and implementation of this agreement,” according to a PGA Tour spokesperson.


Exactly what cut or fee do Herlihy and his firm stand to make from this deal? After being told Herlihy would call me Tuesday, I’m still waiting for my chance to ask him.

So what will his compensation be for sitting on the very small “executive committee” of the new board of directors of this new for-profit global golf entity, alongside Rumayyan and Monahan? Unknown.

When will that be fully disclosed to the PGA Tour players, who have been sold down this river of blood? Who knows?

Maybe it’s all pure as a Nativity scene. But here’s a simple question: Whom does this deal serve better, Herlihy or Rory McIlroy? Monahan or Scottie Scheffler? Or Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Tiger Woods or any of the other superb professionals who stayed loyal to each other and the PGA Tour, who refused to knife competitors in the financial back and break commitments and who managed not to sell themselves like degenerate pieces of human scruff to the Saudis? If I were them, I’d be hot. And I would have some other very simple questions.

Who made the first overture? On what authority? Who recommended accepting a deal? On what basis? How do loyal Tour players benefit, as opposed to suffering reputational harm? Why were they not informed? What is the approval process? What are their rights?

Mainly, how on earth are self-respecting PGA Tour golfers supposed to choke down this corporate sellout gluttony and pretend that any of it was really for them?

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