Patrick Cantlay make controversial withdrawal from PGA Tour event amid LIV Golf talks

In an unexpected move, Patrick Cantlay withdrew from the Valspar Championship without providing an explanation ahead of this week’s PGA Tour negotiations with LIV Golf, which are expected to lead to a merger proposal.

As negotiations between the two formerly rival circuits continue, Patrick Cantlay has withdrew from the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship due to his involvement in the Bahamas meeting between PGA Tour and LIV Golf officials.

PGA commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed that the most recent round of talks between Cantlay and the Saudi Investment Fund (PIF) occurred earlier this week. Cantlay is one of six player-directors on the PGA Tour who have previously met with the PIF prior to the proposed deal.

After a number of high-profile players were signed by LIV Golf to join them away from the PGA Tour, a surprise merger was announced last summer, with both parties engaged in negotiations to unify the sport. Many players on the tour were enraged by the deal, and it seemed that no one was informed that negotiations were taking place between the parties.

Players’ animosity toward LIV has significantly subsided since then; as evidenced by the fact that Cantlay’s player representatives, along with those of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Peter Malnati, and Adam Scott, have agreed to join Monahan for a PIF speech on Monday following the relocation of talks from Florida to The Bahamas.

Even though Cantlay had previously criticized the breakaway league, he acknowledged that he was interested in speaking with LIV Golf representatives.

“Well, I have to hear what they have to say, and whenever I am in a meeting in that capacity, I will always try to represent the entire membership,” he said to reporters.

More information is always preferable, in my opinion. I anticipate speaking much less and listening much more. I’m eager to find out what I find out, and after that, I’ll know a lot more. I have to listen to what they have to say, and anytime I am in a meeting in that role, I will always try to speak for the whole membership.

“I always have a responsibility to represent the membership as a whole as effectively as possible. I fully support any agreement that can be reached that serves the interests of all members. Additionally, if it’s absent, it’s absent.

Several players on the tour have been harshly critical of Monahan since the proposed merger was revealed in June of last year. Former US PGA Tour Championship winner Jimmy Walker even called him “full of it.”

As he concentrated on completing a deal with LIV Golf, the commissioner acknowledged that he did feel regret for the way things had turned out in the past few months.

“There are always things you would do differently when you look back,” he remarked. I have discussed it with our players, but it’s clear from looking back at last summer that I could have handled it better, and I fully accept responsibility and accountability for that. That is my responsibility.”

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