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PGA Tour head says ‘anxiety’ caused his unexpected absence after LIV Golf announcement

<i>Sam Greenwood/Getty Images</i><br/>Jay Monahan
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Jay Monahan

By David Close, CNN

(CNN) — PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan cited “anxiety” as the reason he took an unexpected break from his role, following the PGA Tour’s proposed partnership with Saudi’s Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – the backers of LIV Golf – and the European-based DP World Tour.

“I was dealing with anxiety, which created physical and mental health issues and challenges for me,” Monahan told reporters, according to ESPN.

A PGA Tour spokesperson confirmed Monahan’s quotes from Wednesday to CNN.

“I needed to step away and to deal with that and understand how to develop the skills to deal with that going forward,” the 53-year-old added.

On June 13, the PGA Tour said Monahan had been relieved of his day-to-day duties while he recuperated from a medical situation. He returned to his typical role just over a month later on July 17.

On June 6, the PGA Tour sent shockwaves through the sport after announcing it had come to an agreement to join forces with the PIF’s golf-related commercial businesses and rights.

The controversial proposal initiated an ongoing investigation by the US Senate into the planned venture.

“(The announcement) was ineffective and, as a result, there was a lot of misinformation. I think anytime you have misinformation that can lead to mistrust, and that’s my responsibility. It’s nobody else’s responsibility – that’s me and me alone,” Monahan added.

“As I’ve said, I take full accountability for that. At the same time, I apologize for putting players on their back foot.”

Despite the criticism, the commissioner remains bullish on the planned endeavor.

“My performance has always been and will continue to be measured based on results and the productivity of the organization and results delivered and done in the right way. And so that will be determined when we complete this process,” he said.

“And I am confident that when we complete this process, as I said before, this will be a rewarding result for the PGA Tour players and our fans.”

Monahan met with some PGA Tour players on Tuesday ahead of the TPC Southwind tournament just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler attended the meeting and welcomed the commissioner back.

“I realized I hadn’t seen Jay in quite a bit of time. Yeah, it’s definitely good to have him back,” he told reporters.

“He’s always available, and he’s doing the best that he can to make sure that he’s getting as much player input as possible.”

Scheffler acknowledged there was still uncertainty surrounding the proposed PGA Tour-LIV Golf agreement.

“The position where I’m sitting now, it just seems like they’ve got a long way to go in that sense to where there’s still not really much to say. We still don’t really have a great idea as to what is going on right now,” he added.

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