8 Takeaways From Jay Monahan's Tour Championship Press Conference

The PGA Tour commissioner addressed the media to discuss a wide range of issues - here are the key points he raised

Jay Monahan talks to the media before the Tour Championship at East Lake
Jay Monahan addressed the media before the Tour Championship at East Lake
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has faced the media for the first time since he stepped away from his role to address a “medical problem” following the announcement of a shock merger between the Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) that finances LIV Golf.

Following that health issue, Monahan is now back at work, and, ahead of the Tour Championship at East Lake, he covered a wide range of subjects. 

Here are the key talking points from his return to the media spotlight.

He's Confident On An Agreement With PIF

Since the merger announcement was made, details of exactly how the top of the professional game will look in the future have been relatively threadbare. 

However, Monahan revealed that discussions with the PIF remain on track, and it’s hoped an agreement will be in place by January.

He revealed: “There are frequent talks. Tyler [Dennis] and Ron Price, who did a tremendous job in my absence, are leading conversations with the team from PIF, and I would just say, given the fact that there's frequency of talks, including Keith Pelley from DP World Tour, we're probably right where I would expect that we would be. 

"But there's an intensity and there's an urgency and there's a lot of work, good work, that's being done."

A Position Of Power For The PGA Tour

The PGA Tour flag

Monahan thinks the PGA Tour will emerge from the deal with PIF in a position of power

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Given the complexity of the ongoing discussions, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Monahan was reluctant to reveal specific details of precisely what the deal will mean for the PGA Tour. 

He did spell out how he saw the PGA Tour fitting in with its new partner, though – and suggested it’ll give it the power to call the shots on the direction of the game.

Asked what a positive outlook would look like for the Tour, he said: “It is the PGA Tour partnering with PIF, having PIF be a minority investor in NewCo with the PGA Tour, with full-board governance and operational control of the Tour and ultimately the men's professional game moving forward.”

Where Will PIF Money Be Invested?

As anyone who has kept a close eye on LIV Golf will know, the PIF is not short of money. 

With some of its estimated $620bn apparently destined for the PGA Tour in the future, Monahan offered some suggestions on where it would be invested.

He said: “For us to be able to use the capital to be able to invest back in our product, you know, to do things like further reduce commercial inventory in our broadcast, to further invest in our data businesses, to further invest in our media business, to potentially invest in entities and companies that we think are going to help us grow and diversify our fan base and the game.”

Sidestepping The LIV Golf Issue

Cameron Smith at the LIV Golf Adelaide tournament

Monahan was non-committal on the future of LIV Golf

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the aftermath of the merger announcement, PGA Tour Policy Board member Jimmy Dunne claimed Monahan would have the power to disband LIV Golf should he want to.

However, Monahan was keen to sidestep specifics over the circuit’s future, suggesting he wouldn’t answer questions on it until after an agreement is reached. 

“I think there are a lot of questions that are specific questions that are going to come and have come to me as it relates," he said. "I'm not going to talk publicly about them until we've completed those discussions and I can answer that question specifically and directly.”

Lucrative Deals For The PGA Tour

While the future of LIV Golf remains unclear, Monahan revealed the PGA Tour is looking strong thanks to some lucrative sponsorship deals. 

“I think it's important to note from a strength standpoint for 2024, we have $10bn in committed sponsorship revenue, $5bn in media rights revenue committed, both through 2030,” he revealed.

Will The PGA Tour Come To Hawaii In 2024?

Jon Rahm takes a shot at the Sentry Tournament of Champions

Monahan hopes the Sentry Tournament of Champions remains in Hawaii despite devastation caused by wildfires

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In recent weeks, wildfires have devastated Maui island in Hawaii, which is due to host January’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. 

In spite of that, though, Monahan said the PGA Tour remains committed to playing the event there – although it’s too soon to know whether it will happen.

“Absolutely," he said. "But I think at this point there's so many unknowns, and we want to be respectful of the challenges. 

"We want to help be a part of the revitalization. There are a lot of considerations. We're committed, you know, if it makes - if we're allowed to, if we're invited, if we're embraced, given all that needs to be accomplished, we will be there 100 percent. But I think at this point right now that's outside of our hands."

Still, despite Monahan's wish to host the tournament at Kapalua, he later admitted a change of location could be necessary. 

“All of our efforts are on and all of our attention is to try and get back to Kapalua and to try and be as close to what we've been in the past," he explained. "If it looks like that's not a possibility, then we'll go to plan B. I want to be clear, there's no indication that we won't be back there. We're just trying to be respectful.”

The Tour Championship Isn’t Going Anywhere

The FedEx Cup trophy

Monahan says the conclusion of the battle for the FedEx Cup trophy will remain at East Lake

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While the venue for the Sentry Tournament of Champions remains unclear, Monahan explained there's no such uncertainty on the future of East Lake as the location for the Tour Championship.

“This tournament is extremely well positioned," he said. "I mean, I just see the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Tour Championship at East Lake only growing in significance as we go forward. 

"The FedEx Cup is foundational to the PGA Tour and making it to East Lake is foundational to our players. So we continue to invest in and around the event itself. We continue to be received by this community exceedingly well. Our ticket sales are up 20 percent year over year.”

He's Never Felt Better

There was a worrying development in the aftermath of the merger agreement, with Monahan taking time away from the game to address a “medical problem," but he says he’s now stronger than ever.

“I would put it this way: I have never felt better mentally and physically than I feel right now," explained Monahan. "And obviously I had to take some steps to go from where I was to this position. 

"But I'm a work in progress. So I'm working on the things that I've learned that are going to help me in my life and help me in this role, and that's something - like it is out here for our players, that's something I have to work on every single day."

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.