Morning 9: Monahan discusses medical leave | LPGA ratings spike | FedEx St. Jude photos

By Fly Pin High |
August 10, 2023
Ben Alberstadt and Gianni Magliocco.

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Golf fans, good morning as the FedEx Cup and Women’s Open begin.

1. Players meeting: Low attendance and unknowns are abound

Rex Hoggard, Golf Channel …”Tuesday’s player meeting at FedEx St. Jude Championship included a predictable list of questions and an equal amount of predictable responses from PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.”

  • Tom Hoge described the meeting as “a lot of unknowns” even though it lasted only an hour and a half. It was nice to see Jay again, and that he is doing well. Who knows where the future will lead? “I’ll guess that we’ll have to wait and see.”
  • The meeting was Monahan’s first since he left the team in June due to a medical condition. According to different sources, the discussion focused on the framework deal the Tour made with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) and DP World Tour. The agreement gave the three parties a chance to discuss a definitive agreement, which would have created a partnership for profit.

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2. Monahan discusses medical leave

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach…”Monahan, speaking to a small group of reporters ahead of this week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind, said the pressure of negotiating the PGA Tour’s surprising alliance with the DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and players’ reaction to it contributed to his anxiety.”

  • The framework agreement was negotiated in secret, and the majority of PGA Tour players as well as members of the policy board of the circuit were not informed of the deal before it was announced on June 6.
  • Monahan stated, “I was dealing with anxiety which caused me physical and mental challenges.” “I realized I had to take a step back and deal with it and develop the skills necessary to deal going forward.”
  • “It was difficult to step aside at that time, but I had to look after myself and my family and come back stronger than ever to lead the PGA Tour into the future.” My family and doctors were supportive of my decision to return.

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3. PGA Tour exec Pazder resigns

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach…”Longtime PGA Tour executive Andy Pazder resigned Tuesday, two days before the start of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, according to a memo sent to tour members.”

  • Pazder was the chief tournaments and competitive officer of the tour. He spent over 30 years on it. He had previously served as executive vice president, chief of operations, and senior vice-president of tournament administration on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions. He joined the tour back in 1989.”
  • In a memo sent to players that ESPN obtained, it was stated that executive vice president Tyler Dennis will assume Pazder’s responsibilities.

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4. AIG increases Women’s Open purse

James Nursey for Golf Monthly…”Organisers of this week’s AIG Women’s Open have received a major boost after the title sponsor extended its partnership with The R&A to 2030.”

  • The total prize money for the AIG Women’s Open is up significantly since AIG took over as title sponsor in 2019. This year’s championship will be held from Thursday to Sunday in Walton Heath. The prize fund for this event is US$9million – a 23 percent increase over 2022.”
  • “Martin Slumbers said, “We found an ally for women’s sport which has formed the foundation of our strong partnership. I am delighted to continue this.” The AIG Women’s Open has a very clear vision. We want to see women golfers competing on the most prestigious golf courses, in front of large audiences and showing us just how good they can be.

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5. Hal Sutton: “I see greed everywhere”

Mike Hall, of Golf Monthly …”Hal Sutton, has questioned the direction the PGA Tour is taking. He suggests it’s becoming too money-oriented.”

  • The 14-time PGA Tour champion expressed his concerns to Damon Hack and Eamon lynch on The Golf Channel’s Golf Today program, telling them: “I’m going to be honest. I see a lot greed.” I wore two hips out and a left leg walking to the charity model every week. I hope the PGA Tour doesn’t lose this.
  • …”However the 2004 Team USA Ryder Cup Captain insisted that he played the game for reasons other than financial reward. He added: “I felt proud to have been a part of it.” I was proud to be part of that.
  • “I would never say that I love golf but only play it because I am good at playing. “I could never imagine saying this.”

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6. Phil can’t Help Himself

Matt Vincenzi …” This week, Jon Rahm stated that he hoped for the PGA Tour to have porta potties on every hole.

  • “I’ll tell you now that my priorities are lower than most people think. It may sound silly, but it’s as simple as putting a porta-potty in every toilet. I know this sounds absurd, but I cannot choose when to use the bathroom. “I’ve told this tour many times.”
  • Phil Mickelson, in typical Phil Mickelson style, responded to a Tweet from “NUCLR Golf” which shared Rahm’s quote.
  • It’ll never happen.
  • LIV starts doing it. It will happen instantly. ?”

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7. LPGA TV ratings soar

Todd Kelly, Golfweek …” “According to a report from Sports Business Journal, the LPGA has enjoyed record-breaking television ratings. July was the most watched month in tour history.”

  • The 2023 U.S. Women’s Open at the historic Pebble Beach Golf Links was a great reason for golf fans to tune in. They stayed. NBC’s third and final rounds each surpassed one million viewers despite a leaderboard that was devoid of many of the big names of the Tour. Sunday’s game peaked at 1,59 million viewers, the highest number this season. “The prime-time NBC window helped as well.”

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8. Royal Lytham makes a major return

Ben Parsons, Bunkered …”The R&A announced that the AIG Women’s Open would return to Royal Lytham & St Annes 2026.

  • The famous Lancashire Links will host the women’s major for the six time in eight years, after Englishwoman Georgia Hall won the title back then.
  • Royal Birkdale won the 2026 men’s championship over Royal Lytham, which hasn’t held The Open in Royal Lytham since 2012.

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9. FedEx St. Jude Photos

See all our galleries right here!

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