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Monahan keeps hopes high

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 22: PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks to the media prior to the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 22, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Kevin C. Cox / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

MIAMI (AFP) — PGA Tour chief executive Jay Monahan said he is confident of meeting a 31 December deadline to hammer out details of the tour’s merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Tour Championship playoff finale in Atlanta, Monahan said he expected a deal for the new circuit to be in place by 1 January.

The PGA Tour stunned world golf in June after announcing a shock agreement with the Saudi backers of LIV Golf aimed at ending the sport’s two-year civil war.

However, firm details of how the “new collectively owned, for-profit entity” that will see the PGA Tour, Europe’s DP World Tour and LIV Golf merge have yet to be divulged.

Under the agreement signed by all sides in June, a December 31 deadline was set to finalize the details for the new circuit.

Despite ongoing skepticism, Monahan told reporters there was no reason to believe the deadline would not be met.

“As I sit here today, I’m confident we will reach an agreement that achieves a positive outcome for the PGA Tour and our fans – I see it and I’m certain of it,” Monahan said.

“We have put an end to the divisive and distracting litigation, we have safeguards that are in place to put the PGA Tour in a position to control our future.”

Asked if he believed a deal would be in place by 1 January, Monahan replied: “We’re confident that we’re going to reach a positive outcome for the PGA Tour…I don’t have any reason to think that we won’t be successful.”

Monahan refused to be drawn on whether he believed the rebel LIV Golf circuit had a viable long-term future.

“I think there are a lot of questions that are specific questions that are going to come as it relates to elements of what is in the framework agreement and elements of what we’re talking about,” Monahan said.

“I’m not going to talk publicly about them until we’ve completed those discussions and I can answer that question specifically and directly.”

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