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The PGA Tour and LIV Golf’s longstanding conflict came to an end on Tuesday when it was announced that the PGA Tour would be merging with the Saudi-backed start-up to “unify the game” of golf.

The announcement — which came from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on CNBC — was, predictably, not well-received by the tour’s players.

And things evidently came to a head between the golfers and the tour’s leadership at a meeting later in the day.

MORE: Everything you need to know about the PGA Tour and LIV Golf merger

Monahan held a meeting with players on Tuesday in Toronto, where 156 golfers were preparing for this week’s RBC Canadian Open. Unsurprisingly, it was a tense environment, as Monahan explained.

“I would describe the meeting as intense,” he told reporters, per Sean Zak of GOLF Magazine. “Certainly heated.”

That may be underselling it. Veteran tour member Johnson Wagner shared on Golf Channel that multiple players had called for Monahan’s resignation during the meeting, per Kyle Koster of The Big Lead. And most calls for PGA Tour leadership changes were met with applause.

Wagner also estimated that about 90 percent of the room was against the merger.

Meanwhile, Geoff Ogilvy — another long-time member of the PGA Tour — also implied that the atmosphere in the meeting was strained.

“I’m glad I wasn’t Jay today,” Ogilvy said, per Golf.com.

MORE: Where Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods fall among winners & losers from LIV Golf-PGA Tour merger

Ogilvy also said that Monahan explained that the deal was in the works for seven weeks, per Ron Klos. The veteran golfer added that it seemed like the PGA Tour wasn’t prepared to announce the merger today and speculated that they did so because the agreement was going to be leaked. That could be part of the reason there aren’t too many specific details about the seismic shift in the sport’s landscape.

In a juicier bit of post-meeting gossip, Ogilvy detailed that one player called Monahan a “hypocrite” in the merger’s wake. Monahan took the abuse “calmly” and answered each of the questions asked of him.

It’s easy to understand why many PGA Tour players would feel this way. After all, Monahan was chief among those preaching loyalty to the PGA Tour over the nine-figure deals that LIV Golf was offering its participants. And in the end, he effectively double-crossed the players.

Monahan is aware of that perception but is adamant that his change in tone came because of a change in the information provided to him.

“I recognize everything I’ve said in the past in my past positions,” he said, per ESPN. “I recognize that people are going to call me a hypocrite. Anytime I said anything I said it with the information I had in the moment, and I said it based on someone that’s trying to compete for the PGA Tour and our players. I accept those criticisms, but circumstances do change. I think that in looking at the big picture and looking at it this way, that’s what got us to this point.”

MORE: PGA Tour golfers react to LIV-PGA Tour merger: ‘It’s insanity’

Surely, these aren’t the last details that will emerge regarding Tuesday’s meeting. And certainly, it won’t be the last gathering between the PGA Tour’s management and top golfers as Monahan looks to re-establish a level of trust between the two parties.

“Obviously, it’s been a very dynamic and complex couple of years, and for players, I’m not surprised,” Monahan said. “This is an awful lot to ask them to digest, and this is a significant change for us in the direction that we were going down.”

As it stands, it doesn’t seem like the tension between Monahan and the players will be going away any time soon — if the commissioner is able to survive it.



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