Ernie Els Blasts PGA Tour Commissioner, Leadership In Explosive Interview

As more and more figures in the golf world speak out about the proposed PIF-PGA Tour merger, “The Big Easy” Ernie Els is the latest golfer to speak his mind. And suffice to say, he is not happy.

“If this happened in my day, in my prime, there’s no way he’s around,” said Els, referring to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “No way. And the board has to change. You do s— like this. I’m sorry, it’s not right.

“Talk to us, tell us what you’re going to do, and plan on negotiating. Don’t just go rogue as a member of the board and come back with a deal and think we’re all going to say yes? You’re affecting people’s lives. You’re affecting the professional game. It’s just so bad.”

Els also said that he doesn’t necessarily think the Saudi Arabian government getting involved is a bad thing, but it is LIV he has a problem with.

“I know Yasir, I know some of those Saudi guys,” said Els, who has played in Saudi Arabia as well as other events in the Middle East numerous times over the years. “They love the game. But this (LIV) is circus golf. That’s not where I stand.

 “Team golf doesn’t work. It works maybe in a two-month, three-month happy season. Get these guys together, get teams together, and play around the world. But (then) play real golf.”

He went on in the interview to talk about how he still appreciates players earning their Tour card and the qualification process, something LIV doesn’t have.

“That’s what this thing is all about,” Els said. “That’s what I prided myself on. Like Tiger (Woods) and some of these guys. Playing that type of golf. Getting yourself into majors. And grinding.

“And for these guys (the PGA Tour leadership) to go out there and do what they did, just off the cuff, as a board member, do a deal, nobody knows,” Els continued. “The commissioner is supposed to be the guy running our Tour. These board members make a deal or a so-called deal and with no input from the players. It’s absolute shambles. I’m worried.”

There has been a lot of discussions since the proposal was announced in early June, with guys like Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Billy Horschel coming out in support of the PGA Tour’s leadership and Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, and Jordan Spieth saying that the Tour needs to earn their trust back.

It’s likely safe to say that the opinions and discussions surrounding this proposed deal are not going to stop anytime soon.