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Golf Monthly
Golf Monthly
James Nursey

Jay Monahan Holds PGA Tour Player Meeting Amid Shock Resignation Of Senior Official

Jay Monahan speaks to the media before the 2022 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has held a player meeting to face up to fresh questions over future plans amid the shock resignation of a high-ranking official.

Monahan held his first player meeting on Tuesday at the FedEx St. Jude Championship since taking a leave of absence in June for a health problem. The meeting gave pros like Rickie Fowler a chance to grill Monahan on the latest on plans to set-up a new partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which backs rival LIV Golf.

The scheduled discussion took place just after players were informed via email that Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief tournaments and competitions officer, had resigned.

The 90-minute gathering in the Oaks Room in the clubhouse at TPC Southwind saw around 25 of the 70 players competing in this week’s first FedEx Cup Playoffs event attend but Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay, both player directors on the policy board, were reportedly not present.

Those who went like Fowler, the world No.26, got the chance to review the framework agreement the tour announced on June 6 for a new company (NewCo) to be formed from the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s PIF.

It was also an opportunity for Monahan to reassure his members after the shock announcement two months ago, which stunned pros. But Fowler conceded there are still plenty of concerns about the future - especially if the tour and PIF fail to finalise the framework, which has been questioned by legends like Tom Watson.

Fowler, who is a member of the player advisory council, told the Golf Channel: “I think everyone has a better understanding of how things are operating but there’s still a whole lot that we don’t know. It’s just continuing to trust that leadership and that everyone is doing what’s best for all of us and the tour moving forward.”

Long serving PGA Tour official Andy Pazder, right, has resigned (Image credit: Getty Images)

Fowler told the Golf Channel among the items discussed were: “If the deal doesn’t work what are the potentials of moving forward? Does NewCo still stay around? Are there other investors? Is the tour sustainable how we currently are?

“The tour is in a great spot and it’s going to continue to grow. The possibility of NewCo and still looking at that, that could be a better option to continue to move forward, whether that’s PIF or not. It’s more along the structure and what is the best option for moving forward, whether that’s with NewCo or without.”

NewCo is the proposed for-profit entity under which the PGA Tour and DP World Tour would operate with investment from the PIF, according to the framework agreement.

Fellow player Tom Hoge told the Golf Channel : “I think it was good just to have Jay there in front of us all and see him again and see that he is doing well, and who knows what the path will be going forward.”

Fowler believes a final agreement with the PIF is still a long way off despite the framework agreement including a January 1, 2024, deadline to reach a definitive deal.

“There are a lot of parts that have to come together,” insisted Fowler. “They have to get a majority, if not unanimous, as far as board and player support. So yes, there's a lot of things that have to come together for this to happen, and I would say you'd have to sell everyone on the idea that this is the best option for the Tour, for the players, for everyone moving forward.”

The NewCo will have to cope without Pazder who just two weeks ago was put on two vital committees as the tour continues to forge the new partnership. His tasks with colleagues were to decide what type of penalties, if any, players who defected to LIV  would face should they want to return and also assemble a compensation package for players who remained loyal to the PGA Tour against the LIV threat.

Pazder was one of the instrumental figures in helping the tour return from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. He joined the PGA Tour over 30 years ago in 1989 and worked under three commissioners. Tyler Dennis, who had served as the tour’s acting commissioner in the health absence of Monahan, will reportedly assume Pazder’s responsibilities.

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