Jay Monahan, one man in charge for PGA

Jay Monahan's become one of the most talked-about figures over the past year, and for good reason. Since January 2017, he has held the position of Commissioner of the PGA Tour

by Andrea Gussoni
Jay Monahan, one man in charge for PGA
© Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images Sport

Jay Monahan's become one of the most talked-about figures over the past year, and for good reason. Since January 2017, he has held the position of Commissioner of the PGA Tour. Joseph William "Jay" Monahan IV is the fourth helmsman in the history of the American professional Tour, and he found himself steering the ship through the storm unleashed by the entry of LIV Golf.

We know well how Monahan, in agreement with Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Keith Pelley, formally ended the storm. However, after the conclusion of the framework agreement, the situation took a different turn than expected.

Jay Monahan, situation

The current state of affairs speaks of a LIV Golf that has kicked off its season and has taken a strong stance against the OWGR, a DP World Tour proceeding with a somewhat low-profile season, overshadowed by the LIV Golf saga, and a PGA Tour that, in turn, has relaunched with the PGA Tour Enterprises project.

The new entity, envisaged by the June agreement, is currently supported by the Strategic Sports Group, an entity composed of various investors who also participate in Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's TGL franchises. PGA Tour Enterprises, pending the completion of the framework agreement process, has appointed its own Board, with Jay Monahan naturally sitting on it.

Together with Joe Gorder (independent Director of the PGA Tour Policy Board), they complete the PGA Tour's representation within the new entity. Monahan serves as CEO (Tiger Woods is the Vice President). So, the Commissioner isn't stepping down, as he clearly indicated during the traditional press conference preceding The Players, currently underway at TPC Sawgrass.

In reality, according to most industry insiders, the press conference was unsatisfactory (Golf.com commented extremely bluntly, "...he spoke to the press... mostly about nothing"). The only clear takeaway was that Monahan isn't considering stepping back.

Yet, the Commissioner, since the announcement of the framework agreement, has received more signals of distrust than attestations of merit. And the situation hasn't improved. When asked about the players' support for him, he replied: "That's a question you need to ask the players." And so, the players who took turns in front of the microphones had to respond to the fateful question posed by the attending journalists: Is Jay Monahan the right man to remain at the helm of the Tour? Rory McIlroy is the only one who supports the current Commissioner, albeit with the condition of seeing "the train accelerating." Matt Fitzpatrick confirmed he doesn't trust Monahan's ability to protect the interests of the PGA Tour.

"Is he the right person? I don't know. Probably not on paper." "But it seems like we don't have a choice." Xander Schauffele echoed the sentiments of the British player. "Trust is a very fragile thing, but words matter, and as far as I'm concerned, he has a long way to go." Viktor Hovland emphasized how Monahan's leadership is contradictory.

"There are things that have been stated and then not upheld, and there are others that are very contradictory." "I want a person at the head of an organization who takes responsibility and says, 'Hey, we made some mistakes, but we intend to remedy them this way,' instead of sweeping everything under the rug, as I believe has been done until now." "I don't care if someone has made mistakes; everyone can make mistakes." Even Billy Horschel confirmed that players are divided about the Commissioner's future.

"Unfortunately, I don't believe he has the support of everyone, but I hope at least the majority of PGA Tour members support him." Michael McEwan, deputy editor of Bunkered, in a lengthy article analyzing Monahan's situation, concludes: "Contrary to popular belief, there's no shame in saying 'enough.' " "The real shame, to tell the truth, is not understanding when it's time to do so."

Jay Monahan Pga Tour