Commissioner Monahan confirms TOUR’s strength as FedExCup Playoffs commence
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Written by Staff, PGATOUR.COM
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – With the FedExCup Playoffs about to begin, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan met with a group of reporters Wednesday at TPC Southwind in advance of the FedEx St. Jude Championship to re-emphasize the PGA TOUR’s positive momentum and strength.
Wednesday’s comments echoed what he told players in a meeting a day earlier at TPC Southwind, where the top 70 in the FedExCup are gathered for the first of three FedExCup Playoffs events.
Monahan, addressing the media for the first time since June 7, touched on Tiger Woods’ addition to the PGA TOUR board and the progress toward a Definitive Agreement with the DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund (PIF). He also commended players on a successful season, one that has been defined by the successful debut of the TOUR’s Signature Events, which provide the top players more opportunities to compete against each other and give new stars opportunities to establish themselves against the game’s elite.
The success of the Signature Events is illustrated in the way Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler have separated themselves from the competition in the FedExCup standings. Of Rahm’s four wins this season, two came in Signature Events, including victories at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and The Genesis Invitational, in addition to winning his second major championship at the Masters Tournament. Scheffler won the WM Phoenix Open for the second consecutive season and a win at THE PLAYERS made him just the third player to hold the Masters and PLAYERS titles simultaneously (Woods and Jack Nicklaus are the others). Scheffler finished the Regular Season with a TOUR-leading 15 top-10s in 20 starts.
This is the first time since the current FedExCup points structure debuted in 2009 that two players surpassed 3,000 FedExCup points in the same Regular Season, and never before have Nos. 1 and 2 in the standings started the Playoffs with such a large lead over the third-ranked player. Rory McIlroy, the only man to win three FedExCups, moved to No. 3 in the standings with his dramatic win at the Genesis Scottish Open, where he birdied the final two holes to beat hometown favorite Robert MacIntyre by one.
This season also has seen the emergence of new stars like Wyndham Clark, who earned his first two PGA TOUR titles at the Wells Fargo Championship and U.S. Open, and veteran Brian Harman win his first major at The Open Championship after more than a decade on TOUR.
The 2024 schedule, which was announced earlier this week, expands on the Signature Events by providing pathways throughout the season for players to earn spots in these strong fields. The cadence between the Full-Field and Signature Events adds compelling storylines to players’ pursuit of trophies and FedExCup points.
This enhancement only strengthens the TOUR’s position as the best platform for the world’s top players, and is just one reason why Monahan said the TOUR is “stronger than ever.”
“We wanted to wait until the absolute right time to initiate a conversation (with the PIF), a time when we were in a maximum strength position,” he said. “And that’s what we did.”
He ascribed that strength as the foundation for the TOUR’s decision to enter into a Framework Agreement with the DP World Tour and PIF in June. He said negotiations are “progressing well.”
“I am confident that when we complete this process, it will be a rewarding result for our players and fans,” the Commissioner said. “I am entirely determined to get this right, and I think we are going to be in an extremely positive place at the end of this year.”
Any agreement will need the approval of the Policy Board, including all six Player Directors. Woods was recently added to the Board as part of several moves to ensure players have a leading role in the TOUR’s governance. No major decision can be made in the future without the prior involvement and approval of the Player Directors.
“It’s a tremendous statement and it gives our players tremendous confidence to know he’s in that spot,” Commissioner Monahan said. “Tiger Woods doesn’t do anything lightly. … He brings a level of accountability to what he does every single day, and he will bring that level of accountability to … get us to the right place.”
The Commissioner also provided further insight on his medical leave in June. He said that he was suffering the physical effects of anxiety and that he only returned to the TOUR after receiving clearance from doctors and family. Taking leave allowed him to avoid what he termed a “dangerous medical situation.”
“I think everyone knows my nature, and my nature is to want to run into a fight or conflict,” Monahan said. “Not to run away from it. To step away at that point in time was very difficult, but I needed to take care of myself, for my family, for myself and ultimately come back here stronger than I’ve ever been to lead the PGA TOUR forward.”