Commissioner talks Tiger, new schedule, Rickie's untucked shirt and more
January 09, 2018
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
Commissioner Monahan's charity announcement at Sentry
The PGA TOUR and its tournaments across all tours announced Sunday that it generated more than $180 million for charitable causes in 2017, a record amount for a single year (click here for more details). That brings the all-time total to $2.65 billion.
“It’s kind of weird – we talk about numbers, and numbers are numbers and it’s really hard to put your arms around it because they’re so big and they’re so significant,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said. “But it’s obviously the impact that our tournaments are having and our players are having by virtue of their participation in tournaments and support of the tournaments, which is the most powerful …
“It’s a big part of who we are. We like to think that we do it better than anybody else – and we’re going to keep growing that number. That’s our scorecard.”
Here are some additional items of note that Commissioner Monahan touched on recently:
2019 PRESIDENTS CUP QUALIFYING. The 2019 Presidents Cup in Australia is scheduled for the week of Dec. 9 – two months later in the year than when the 2017 event at Liberty National was played. Monahan expects adjustments in when teams will be formed; in 2017, qualification ended after the second FedExCup Playoffs event.
“I think that there will probably be more flexibility in 2019 than there might be in a different year, just based on timing,” he said. “I think the captain selections would probably move themselves closer towards the competition than the end of the FedExCup season. The specifics of that, we’re kind of working on right now.”
Monahan said the TOUR will assess, as it always does, the format of the Presidents Cup, but that there will not be an overreaction to the U.S. Team’s lopsided victory at Liberty National. “This is not about responding every year to what the score is,” Monahan said. “You go back and you got to look at the next 20, 40 years and make certain that you got a format that’s sustainable. … It’s hard to say where it will net out but at this point, the same rules are going to apply as we go forward, which is the team with more points is going to win.”
2019 PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP. Monahan said that when the PGA TOUR schedule is revised for the 2018-19 season, THE PLAYERS Championship will be played on the third weekend of March. THE PLAYERS will be moving to March starting that year, while the PGA Championship moves from August to May, allowing the FedExCup Playoffs to be moved up to an earlier completion.
Monahan also said the 2019 portion of the schedule will once again be held in Hawaii, with the Sentry Tournament of Champions in the first week of January, followed by the Sony Open in Hawaii.
In another schedule tidbit, Monahan expects to have a week off between the end of the 2018-19 season and the start of the 2019-20 season. “It’s likely that you would see a little bit of separation,” he said. He added that “good progress” has been made toward finalizing 2018-19 schedule and that it may be announced “in a couple months.”
RICKIE’S UNTUCKED SHIRT. Consider Monahan a fan of Rickie Fowler’s Hawaiian shirt that he debuted in the first round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
“I was at my house on Thursday night watching the opening broadcast and I thought it was fantastic,” Monahan said. “… Obviously, he’s someone that’s very thoughtful. And he was respecting Hawaiian culture and everything that makes this island and this area so great, and he did it in his own way and brought a lot of attention – not just to Rickie but to the tournament, to the area. … I think it’s representative of what makes our athletes so special. I don’t see any negative to it.”
PGA TOUR/LPGA TOUR CO-EVENT. Monahan said he remains in discussion with LPGA and its commissioner, Mike Whan, about having an event that would include pros from both tours. He called the Sentry Tournament of Champions a “logical” option but not the only one. “That’s something that we’ll continue to talk about as we go down the road,” Monahan said. “And we’ll continue to talk to the LPGA about – if not here, how do we accomplish this at one of our tournaments.
“That’s something that I’ve talked to Mike about at length and it’s something that we think is important, and I would like to think that we’ll get there at some point.”
TIGER’S RETURN. Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his first start on TOUR in a year at the Farmers Insurance Open the week of Jan. 22. “We have been so fortunate that some of our young players and our players generally stepped up and carry the game forward,” Monahan said, “but to bring Tiger back into the mix and have the question that you’re asking out in front of everybody – I think it’s going to be fascinating to watch and we’re blessed that it’s happening.”