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PGA Tour commish sees LIV Golf as ‘irrational threat’: Takeaways on plans to enhance future events

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Addressing the media on Wednesday for the first time since March, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan officially announced three new events, as well as significant increase in wallet size to eight other tournaments. He also discussed LIV Golf and answered questions about the future of the PGA Tour that have never seemed more shaky than now.

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Monahan was more vocal about the tour than he had been at previous media gatherings and was more firm about how good the tour could be in the near future. This does not mean that it will work, but at that moment his words were convincing.

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In the midst of Monaghan’s press conference, LIV Golf officially signed Brooks Koepka. It was a reminder that the LIV is still on the move as it has now signed 20% of the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.

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With the future of the DP World Tour hanging in the air – rumor has it that either the PGA Tour or LIV Golf could buy it soon – the lead in the Open Championship in July has never seemed more significant.

Here’s a look at what Monahan said on Wednesday, as well as what’s in store for the future of the PGA Tour and professional golf in general.

About the intentions of LIV Golf

“I am not naive. If this is an arms race, and if the only weapons are dollar bills, the PGA Tour cannot compete. The PGA Tour, an American organization, cannot compete with a foreign monarchy that spends billions of dollars trying to buy a game of golf. We welcome good, healthy competition. The Saudi LIV Golf League is not like that. It’s an irrational threat that has nothing to do with ROI or the true growth of the game.”

Simply put, the future of the PGA Tour depends on whether its players understand and believe this statement.

About LIV Golf in general

“When someone tries to buy the sport, dismantle the institutions that have invested internally in its development and focus only on personal priorities, that partnership evaporates and instead we end up with one person, one organization using endless amounts of money to guide employees. , and not members or partners, to their personal goal, which may or may not change tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

“I doubt that this is the vision of the game for any of us. Now I know that legacy and purpose sound like talking points that don’t mean much, but when I talk about these concepts, I don’t mean some intangible morality. height. This is our track record as an organization and as a sport. On the PGA Tour, our members compete for the opportunity to add their names to the history books, and yes, significant financial gains, without having to struggle with any sort of moral ambiguity.”

Again, Monahan needs the remaining stars of the PGA Tour to believe that this is necessary for the future existence of the tour.

About PGA Tour Player Salaries

“Seeing a day when things like this happen? I think my answer to that question is we are always open to change and we are going to look at everything that will continue to make this tour stronger and stronger. I would say that if you go back to the elements, to the core of this tour, to the meritocracy of being on the PGA Tour – how difficult it is to get out of here, how difficult it is to get to the top level of the game – it will eventually become an attribute … that will make this tour the greatest tour in the world.

Whether this is true remains to be seen. Using “meritocracy” as a compensation mechanism for players making all the money seems a little dated. The Tour has announced $54 million inflows into tournament wallets, with another $60 million expected in three fall tournaments that will feature the top 50 qualifiers. However, the best players in the world are not guaranteed any of that money, even if they are the ones that generate all the interest.

On countering the reduction in the number of tourist cards to 70

“This is a significant change and it will affect every participant on the PGA Tour. And what we talked about [Tuesday] in this player meeting, and what we’ve been talking about for months is that every player in this room, every member that has a PGA Tour card, has the opportunity to be the #1 player in the world.

“So to say that everyone supports this would be an overstatement, but it’s the right move for the business and ultimately the right move for our players and fans, and I’m looking forward to proving that in the coming years.”

This is definitely the right move for the business. Fall events will no longer be part of the FedEx Cup. Instead, three of these will be high-money, limited-player tournaments, while the rest will feature non-top 70 players competing for a spot on the tour starting in January. It’s a bummer for the average player, but it protects and rewards the stars of the tour, which is what they’re after.

How big companies will react

“So, for me, they made the decision about their 2022 championship. How they continue to look at this current situation, this current environment, is up to them. I am completely focused on the things that we control. , and a lot of what we’re talking about and announcing today. I think as long as we keep taking steps to make this tour stronger, create more opportunities for the best players, we’ll eventually pave the way for these championships.

“To compete in these championships, you need to compete with the best. You need to compete for relevance. You need to compete for context. And the best way to prepare is to participate in the PGA tour. that I will let them make their own decisions… I won’t let them. They will make their own decisions and we will just be as competitive as possible.”

That’s true, but if the OWGR board awards LIV golf points or LIV just buys the DP World Tour outright, there’s a good chance none of this really matters.

About tour tax exemption

“We are always open to anything that will create more opportunities for our members and this is an ongoing exercise. But at the moment I don’t see anything beyond what we currently have. But we will continue to look at everything.”

Other leagues such as MLB and the NFL have waived tax breaks and that would be the way to guaranteed top players money, but that doesn’t seem like it’s being discussed.

On whether players are underpaid

“You cannot answer this question by going back to the model itself. So, whether I consider the model, the meritocracy model, the mission of the PGA Tour, which is to have the best players in the world compete in the biggest and greatest prep for the biggest championships in golf… we have it. We’re going to continue to develop it.

“And I feel like the players themselves… it’s really a question for them. We do our best to maximize the income they play for. We have grown. We have grown by 20% from 2021 to 2022. In the next 10 years, we will grow faster than at any time in our history.

“We’re also not just about what you do with your competitive performance. The fact that our players are in control of their schedule, control of the brands they associate with, can build their own business with no limits… it’s a combination of what they play, what they earn on the playing field. It’s also a combination of more than just what they earn outside of the game, but also the opportunities and flexibility they provide.

“A lot of talk about how I want every player on the PGA Tour to make more money, and that’s something I’ll continue to focus on… There’s still a lot of work to be done on that front.”

Players are underpaid in the sense that they are not guaranteed money from the PGA Tour. If you like this model, then this one is good. They are not underpaid as it refers to a percentage of the money distributed by the PGA Tour which is over 50% and is unmatched by any of the world’s top sports leagues.

About the source of this infusion of funds

“One of the things we’ve been hearing over the past few months from our sponsors is, ‘Please tell us what we can do to help.’ And so the changes we’re making, which will add up to roughly $45 million in additional purse, come from a combination of sponsorship input, ways to keep selling more within these events themselves, and our reserves.”

The figure is thought to be $54 million, but what’s interesting is that the sponsors came to the tour to help them, not the other way around. This is a good omen for the future tour.

About potential schedule reduction

“What we did today is you moved from the final season to the season, the FedEx Cup season, which basically runs from January to August. top 70, for me there is some relief there.

“But more importantly, these tournaments inside the core have become even stronger, and I fundamentally believe that these…


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