PGA Policy Board member in shock resignation over Saudi PIF deal

Bernie McGuire

Randall Stephenson (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

No sooner was it announced Jay Monahan is returning to work that the PGA Tour is again seemingly reeling with news a member of the PGA Tour’s policy board has quit.

Board member Randall Stephenson gave formal notice he no longer wants to be a member of the policy board, citing “serious concerns” over the June 6th news of a ‘merger’ of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

It is being widely reported Stephenson submitted his letter of resignation to the nine other policy board members citing the ‘merger’ and saying: “I cannot objectively evaluate or in good conscience support, particularly in light of the U.S. intelligence report concerning Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.”


It is understood Stephenson had planned to quit the policy board on June 12th, a day less than a week following the release of news of a ‘merger’, however he waited out of courtesy to Monahan, who has been absent from his role as head of the PGA Tour citing a ‘medical situation’, but indicated on Friday he would be resuming normal duties on Monday 17th July, and in the week of the Open Championship.

“I joined this board 12 years ago to serve the best players in the world and to expand the virtues of sportsmanship instilled through the game of golf,” wrote Stephenson, the longtime chair and chief executive of AT&T.

“I hope, as this board moves forward, it will comprehensively rethink its governance model and keep its options open to evaluate alternative sources of capital beyond the current framework agreement.”

Members of the Tour’s policy board includes five player directors – Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Peter Malnati and Charley Hoffman – as well as five independent directors – Ed Herlihy, Jimmy Dunne, Mark Flaherty, Mary Meeker and Stephenson. The PGA of America also has a representative on the board, John Lindert.

This news of Stephenson’s resignation from the board comes comes at a continuing time of uncertainty for the PGA Tour as to what will be its place in a revamped men’s pro golf landscape.

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