CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jay Monahan has by no means confronted a extra tumultuous time as PGA Tour commissioner.Greater than two dozen PGA Tour members have defected to the LIV Golf circuit, which is being fronted by two-time Open Championship winner Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund.The PGA Tour is at present going through a federal antitrust lawsuit from LIV Golf and three of its gamers alleging it illegally suspended them for competing in LIV Golf occasions and is utilizing its monopoly energy to squash competitors. The U.S. Division of Justice has additionally opened an investigation into allegations that the PGA Tour is a monopoly.The PGA Tour responded to the menace by elevating its purses for 12 elevated occasions, which could have common purses of $20 million, to go together with the $25 million Gamers Championship. The tour’s high gamers have dedicated to play in 20 occasions beginning this season.2 RelatedMonahan sat down with ESPN for an unique interview earlier than final week’s Presidents Cup at Quail Hole Membership.Some gamers have stated that the tour and LIV want to come back collectively. What’s your opinion?Monahan: Effectively, I believe phrases and actions are vital. I believe it is impractical if you have a look at the truth that sure gamers have sued the PGA Tour, their employer has sued the PGA Tour. It isn’t within the playing cards. It hasn’t been within the playing cards and it isn’t within the playing cards. I believe we have been fairly constant on that entrance.Can the PGA Tour and LIV Golf coexist?Monahan: I might present the identical reply. The reply to that’s they’ve gone down their path and I believe we’ve got been fairly constant that we’re taking place ours, and I do not see that occuring. Have not, and I do not.The place do you see males’s skilled golf going from right here by way of the well being of the game?Monahan: Effectively, I can communicate to the PGA Tour and the adjustments that we have made. You return during the last couple of years, and as we got here into ’22, we got here into a brand new rights cycle domestically. We have been in a brand new rights cycle internationally with nice media companions. And the way in which our enterprise works, we generate our income from media rights, from sponsorships and from the way in which that we activate in every market with our host organizations. And we have checked out our schedule, we have made structural adjustments to our schedule.We’re in an alliance with the DP World Tour, working extra intently than we ever have earlier than. I sit on the board of the DP World Tour. You have a look at the composition of our membership and the worldwide nature of our membership, I believe we’re simply going to proceed to lean into the adjustments that we have made.Entry 4,300-plus hours of dwell protection from 35 PGA Tour tournaments every year, together with 4 days of protection at 28 occasions with 4 feeds every day. Plus, entry replays, originals and extra. Stream on ESPN+
A few of these adjustments being the elevated occasions, concentrating our schedule, making our product as robust as doable, the platform that we offer to our members. And it isn’t nearly media, our tv distribution. You look at the moment at Fb, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram — on a weekly foundation, we’re producing over 100 million video views and guaranteeing that we’re persevering with to supply not solely the strongest aggressive platform, but additionally the strongest model platform for our gamers, given the values that we stand for as a company, the affect we’ve got. We will give attention to what we management and simply hold getting higher at it and stronger at it.What did you make of LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman’s latest go to to Capitol Hill?Monahan: We have been going to Capitol Hill a number of occasions a yr for effectively earlier than I received to the PGA Tour, and I did not and I do not make a lot of it. For those who return to July 2, 1974, when the PGA Tour was granted [nonprofit] standing, it is one thing that we take nice satisfaction in. For those who look again since that time limit, we have raised over $3.3 billion for charities, and we’ve got promoted the values of the sport, the aggressive spirit of the sport, and each constituency, each market right here throughout all of our excursions has benefited from that [nonprofit] standing. We really feel very strongly and we take very critically, that accountability.So anyone that desires to assault it, we’re very comfy to inform our story and never solely our story at the moment, however the continued unimaginable work that we’ll do to learn folks and communities going ahead.LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman met with federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill and his message was met with blended opinions. Jonathan Ferrey/Getty PicturesWhat are you telling gamers to steer them to stay with the PGA Tour?Monahan: I give attention to the place we’re and the place we’re going. And I give attention to two issues: What your risk is from an revenue standpoint on the PGA Tour, [and] from a aggressive standpoint on the PGA Tour, as a result of finally what I inform somebody is determined by what their goal is. What do you wish to accomplish? Every part begins with that. And you then reply to it. To me, if you wish to obtain on the highest degree of the sport and also you wish to win the largest championships within the recreation, then we’ve got an unimaginable story to inform on that entrance.After which, you actually speak concerning the mannequin and make sure {that a} participant totally understands what it means to have your independence, to have the ability to decide and select your schedule, to have the ability to determine the businesses and the folks that you simply wish to companion with, and to consider how your life goes to evolve as a PGA Tour member.You could be a younger participant at the moment. Chances are you’ll get married sooner or later and have youngsters, and as you develop into a celebrity and as extra accountability comes up, that is a very vital aspect to what it takes to realize on the very highest degree. That is one thing that has been a continuing on the PGA Tour and is a very vital aspect to success out right here.I additionally am fast to say: Make sure that you simply’re speaking to different folks. I am just one voice, and granted, I am honored to have the ability to lead this group, however I believe if you’re making decisions like this, that you must know with certainty what you are entering into. And so I try to present that certainty on our facet and make sure that gamers perceive it as they consider something which may change.Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith are two of the largest names to go away the PGA Tour this yr for LIV Golf. Brian Spurlock/Icon SportswireWhat did you make of Tiger’s assembly in Wilmington, Delaware, earlier than the BMW Championship in August?Monahan: It was Tiger and Rory’s assembly and nothing gave me extra satisfaction as a result of we have been battling for an extended time period right here, and that assembly was a fruits of quite a lot of discussions and exchanges of concepts over the previous a number of months. While you take two icons of the sport they usually’re taking accountability for bringing the blokes collectively and persevering with to think about methods to enhance the PGA Tour, make it stronger and make commitments which have by no means been made earlier than, it was a very vital second in time. Individuals speak about 1968 [when the tour spun off into an organization for professional players], folks speak about when the PGA Tour was shaped and folks speak about 1994 [when the PGA Tour rebuffed Norman’s plans for a breakaway World Golf Tour]. And I believe that was form of that second right here.On the finish of the day for me, and I really feel like I am getting blue within the face on this, however the aggressive framework right here and the integrity of that’s so vital. And that is what these gamers try to guard. And so to me, perceive, respecting historical past, respecting custom, honoring it on the identical time, determining how we will evolve in a method that truly improves upon that’s the absolute proper method of going about issues. And to me, it isn’t like that was. … That was a part of a course of, nevertheless it was a very vital a part of the method, if you understand what I imply.How vital has Tiger’s management been to the tour?Monahan: It is extraordinarily vital. I’ve stated that publicly and I am going to proceed to say it: You win 82 occasions out right here, you win 15 main championships, you’re the host of the Genesis Invitational and also you have a look at his TGR Basis. You have a look at the truth that each participant out right here and you have requested them the query, nearly each participant out right here, and one of many causes they’re out right here is as a result of they idolized and checked out him. His on-course presence is matched by his voice or his off-course presence. And so, not solely do they have a look at him, I believe his friends have a look at him as a frontrunner, the chief on the golf course, but additionally a frontrunner off of it.Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have stepped up as leaders in uniting gamers on the PGA Tour. Tannen Maury/EPAAgain, a very vital voice. So it at all times has been actually vital and it at all times will likely be. I imply, I believe you have a look at Mr. [Jack] Nicklaus is right here [at the Presidents Cup]. He’ll be on the primary tee for the Presidents Cup. He is captained 4 groups. He hosted the occasion in 2013, and Jack’s presence and his voice continues to be a very vital a part of this recreation. When Tiger’s that age, it’s going to be the identical method. That is what’s distinctive about our sport.I assume the massive a part of LIV has been the altering the sport, its newness. What are you able to guys do? I imply, aggressive golf is aggressive golf, however what are you able to do to make the fan expertise totally different or have new and thrilling issues for followers?Monahan: To me, change comes from two standpoints. One’s the participant and one’s the fan. You and I’ve talked concerning the adjustments that we’re making on the aggressive facet of issues. We will proceed to lean into that. And to me, that advantages the fan as a result of understanding at first of the yr the place one of the best gamers within the PGA Tour are going to play and understanding that you’ll proceed to have extra stars, extra storylines, extra breakthroughs as we undergo what’s now a truncated season. I believe we’ll create even higher curiosity, notably if you have a look at the tentpole massive moments in our recreation. After which, you have a look at the presentation of our product.We’re on ESPN+ now, 4,300 hours, greater than 50% of these people [watching] are beneath the age of 35. We’re investing in all of our platforms to assist construct the model and profile of our gamers. We’re making investments and we’re partnering in ideas like Tomorrow Golf [with Woods and McIlroy], that are definitely going to attraction to a youthful viewers and are going to serve a platform for innovation that will likely be an enormous a part of what we do over the following 10 years. What we began with won’t be the place we find yourself. I believe you may see quite a lot of progress on that entrance. I believe you have a look at our alliance with the DP World Tour and you consider the sport from a worldwide foundation. We have been in quite a few markets exterior the U.S., as we reset the schedule.Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are launching TGL, a tech-infused golf league in partnership with the PGA Tour. TGLIs there extra that we will do past what we have already performed? I believe final yr was a very good begin with the Genesis Scottish Open, the Barracuda, the Barbasol, gaming NFTs, First Tee. Getting extra younger folks into the sport and connecting them on a life cycle, creating extra range in our recreation. You have a look at the totality of the issues that we’re doing, that we have performed and that we’ll proceed to do, I believe that is going to result in us persevering with to succeed in a broader and youthful demographic.Curiously, one of many issues that is being stated about us is that we attain an older demographic. We do, however we attain an older demographic by tv. And in case you have a look at tv usually, during the last 20 years the final inhabitants has aged a mean of 10%. OK? So too has the PGA Tour viewers. You have a look at different sports activities, these audiences have aged higher than 20%. So persevering with, the extra you broaden the pipes, the extra you are going to seize all the spectrum, from the younger all the way in which to the older demographic.Why will the PGA Tour outlast LIV Golf?Monahan: As a result of the sport, on the highest degree, is about aspiration. It is about context. And any younger child at the moment, any child that is going to be enjoying the sport going ahead, finally goes to wish to win the largest championships, the largest tournaments, and put themselves ready and on a path over the course of their golf journey to get to the PGA Tour and to once more, obtain on the highest degree. We’re going to proceed to evolve and get stronger in each single space of that spectrum or of that journey.And the sport itself will proceed to evolve from an leisure standpoint, nevertheless it is not going to be solely about leisure. It may be about how do I obtain what Tiger Woods has achieved, or Jordan Spieth or Jon Rahm or Collin Morikawa or Patrick Cantlay or Xander Schauffele? I can go on and on and on. And the gamers which can be proper now within the Korn Ferry Tour, who’re going to be right here in two years, who’re going to be high 5 or high 10 on the earth.Monahan believes the PGA Tour will stay the best aggressive degree of males’s skilled golf. Jared C. Tilton/Getty ImagesI suppose that is what this group has at all times stood for and has at all times tried to get stronger and higher at. After which I additionally suppose that there is an vital aspect right here of goal. And we talked about it earlier, however what’s your goal in enjoying the sport? What do you wish to obtain? But additionally, the place do you wish to align from a goal standpoint? And the world wants extra goal.The PGA Tour is an unimaginable platform that does a lot good for each neighborhood the place we play. We depart it higher than we discovered it. We achieve this a lot good for therefore many individuals. We make investments again within the recreation by First Tee and different applications. And we see by partnerships just like the DP World Tour and thru an excellent stronger world presence and partnership with different excursions, as a system that is solely going to get stronger.How are you going to make the Presidents Cup extra aggressive going ahead?Monahan: We invested within the Junior Presidents Cup again in 2017. I used to be on the market on Tuesday, and the internationals have been three forward going into singles and the U.S. workforce got here again and received. However that was as shut because it may probably be and I believe that bodes very effectively for the way forward for the Presidents Cup itself.Entry 4,300-plus hours of dwell protection from 35 PGA Tour tournaments every year, together with 4 days of protection at 28 occasions with 4 feeds every day. Plus, entry replays, originals and extra. Stream on ESPN+
And speak about thrilling, at 550,000 sq. toes to construct out [in Charlotte]. The closest factor that we’ve got is the Gamers Championship, which is over 400,000. You might have 40,000 folks a day. The occasions offered out [on] Friday, Saturday, Sunday. The staging to me is phenomenal. We’re enjoying a golf course that I believe goes to create quite a lot of drama and pleasure. And you have extra worldwide followers coming in than we have had prior to now to assist the occasion. I believe we’re on a very good path and a very good trajectory. The embrace that we’re getting and the curiosity that we’ve got on this property are extraordinarily robust and aggressive.

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