PGA Tour Commissioner Responds To McIlroy 'Transparency' Criticism

Jay Monahan says he'll take on board Rory's remarks about the 'closed shop' organisation

Jay Monahan and Rory McIlroy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jay Monahan has responded to Rory McIlroy’s call for the PGA Tour to be more transparent

Speaking ahead of this week’s Players Championship, the PGA Tour commissioner was asked about McIlroy’s views, and initially joked: “I would just say effective immediately, Rory McIlroy is suspended." Overall, McIlroy was glowing in his appraisal of the work that Monahan has done for the PGA Tour. However, he questioned why the organisation isn’t more open in its reasoning behind certain issues, including bans and suspensions. Monahan said he was willing to take on board McIlroy’s concerns.

“Rory is a member of our policy board. He's a player director. That's something that has been raised in the past, and if that's something that a member of our board feels strongly about, rest assured it's a conversation we'll have with our Player Advisory Council and ultimately our board. That's the way the system works. It's a criticism that has been lobbied against the PGA Tour through the years, and I think we always have to be open to evolving. That's something that we are open to.”

McIlroy’s concerns were raised after rumours circulated two weeks ago that Phil Mickelson had been suspended following remarks he made criticising the PGA Tour - speculation the Tour refused to comment on. In a statement apologising for his comments, the 51-year-old said he was taking a break from the game. Nevertheless, suspicions were raised that perhaps the decision was taken out of his hands.

Situations like that led McIlroy to say the organisation was something of a closed shop: “I think the one thing that the Tour in general could do a better job at is transparency, whether that be with... yeah, just with everything. I think transparency and maybe it not being as closed a shop. I've always felt that a few of the bans or suspensions, I think that should all be announced. I think that should be more transparent. I've always said that.”

Monahan also sought to draw a line under the controversy of the reported Saudi Golf League, declaring that the PGA Tour is moving on. Meanwhile, on the Mickelson saga, he said it wouldn’t be up to the Tour to open dialogue about a possible return to the Tour, declaring “the ball is in his court.”

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. 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.