The PLAYERS: Jay Monahan insolently addresses Anthony Kim sore spot

The PGA Tour’s unofficial fifth major is here, with the 50th PLAYERS Championship kicking off Thursday.

Ahead of the action, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan faced the media for a lengthy press conference.

Understandably, most of the questioning surrounded the negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and bringing the game together again. However, he was reluctant to provide any details on the topic.

Monahan did however answer questions about Anthony Kim’s return to golf. Upon being asked if he had any conversations with Kim relating to him returning to the PGA Tour, Monahan took an interesting approach.

“I did not have direct conversations with Anthony. Members of our team did, and they very clearly laid out what it would take for him to earn his way back to the PGA TOUR. I’m glad that Anthony is healthy and well, and we wish him well,” Monahan said curtly.

THE PLAYERS Championship - Preview Day 2, Jay Monahan

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

He was then asked whether he would have liked to see Kim return and how sponsors could line up for him.

“I would have liked to see him compete to make his way back to the Tour… He’s not a member of the PGA Tour, so I don’t have anything further to add.”

Rumors surfaced earlier this year that Kim was planning a return to professional golf after more than a decade away from the sport.

He was a rising star and a fan favorite when he last competed.

Ultimately, Kim decided to join LIV Golf. Despite struggling mightily upon his return, Kim posted a fantastic round of golf Sunday at LIV Golf Hong Kong.

Kim was the latest golf talent to leave the PGA Tour behind for the rival Saudi-funded league. Reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm shockingly switched sides in December and was quickly followed by Tyrrell Hatton.

Monahan refused to answer whether he was concerned about other top names being poached as negotiations with the PIF continue. Instead, he kept focus on thinking positively that a deal will ultimately get done.

As more big names leave the Tour, so too does Monahan’s leverage. The pressure is on.

Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor of SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social media platforms.

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