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Jay Monahan addresses PGA Tour changes and LIV threat: ‘I am not naive’

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The day after spending over an hour with his member, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan sent a similar message to the golf world at his first press conference since the March Players’ Championship.

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Monahan planned to unveil the Tour’s changes to the current schedule, but instead he spent most of the press conference answering questions about the ongoing threat from LIV Golf and how the circuit plans to respond.

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“I am not naive. If this is an arms race and if the only weapons are dollar bills, the PGA Tour cannot compete,” Monahan said. “The PGA Tour, an American organization, cannot compete with a foreign monarchy that spends billions of dollars trying to buy a game of golf.

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“We welcome good, healthy competition. The Saudi LIV Golf League is not like that at all. This is an irrational threat; one not related to ROI or true growth of the game.”

Monahan also framed the current narrative as a challenge to the established Tour meritocracy and a moral choice that is complicated by the geopolitics of the Saudi-backed LIV series.

“On the PGA Tour, our members compete for the chance to get their names in history books and, yes, significant financial gains, without wrestling with any moral ambiguity,” he said. “Pure competition creates relevance and context, which is what fans need and expect to invest their time in the sport and the player.”

Specifically, the Commissioner outlined a plan to dramatically increase wallets across eight tournaments – Sentry Tournament of Champions ($15M), Genesis Invitational ($20M), Arnold Palmer Invitational ($20M), Players Championship ($25M), Dell Technologies WGC. Match Play, Memorial ($20 million), FedEx St. Jude Championship ($20M) and BMW Championship ($20M) – and create an international series of three events for top players starting in 2024 this fall.

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The purse has grown by $54 million starting in 2023, and Monahan was asked where the funds came from.

“One of the things we’ve heard over the past few months from our sponsors is: please tell us what we can do to help. So the changes we are making are the result of a combination of sponsorship input and our reserves,” Monahan said.

Monahan was also asked about changes to the playoff structure and how players get released status. The playoffs will now start with the top 70 of the regular season points list instead of the top 125, and existing fall events will determine the final list of eliminations for next season.

“To say that everyone supports this would be an overstatement, but this is the right move for the business and ultimately the right move for our players and fans, and I look forward to proving that in the coming years,” said Monahan. when asked. the level of support for changes in a released process.


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