Premier Golf League: Jay Monahan ‘encouraged’ by players’ response to proposal

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says he has been “encouraged” by the response from players to the proposed Premier Golf League.

The World Golf Group announced plans in January for an elite golf tour comprising 18 tournaments, each over three rounds instead of the traditional four, with a $2m prize for each winner.

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There has been a mixed reaction to the proposals, with Rory McIlroy one of those to speak out against the format due to a lack of autonomy over his schedule.

However, Monahan said at Tuesday’s press conference ahead of the Players Championship that he was “encouraged” by the overall response from the top golfers.

“I certainly have talked to a number of our top players,” Monahan said. “I’ve talked to players across our membership, and as you recall, this is something that has been rumoured for several years, so it hasn’t just started of late, it’s something that we’ve talked to our players about for several years.

“I would just tell you that we’re encouraged by the response that our players have had in our discussions.

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“This is a player-led organisation, 51 years running. Our governance system has been driven by our players and our board, and we have regulations in place that allow us to protect the interests of our media partners, our sponsors and all of our constituents, and if we got to that point in time, we would take measures to vigilantly protect this business model.”

McIlroy said earlier this month that he felt the calendar is too saturated, and while Monahan said McIlroy showed “leadership” by sharing his thoughts, he said the schedule is constantly being reviewed.

“We have a wonderful PGA tour FedExCup schedule with 49 events this year, and there really are very few weaknesses on our schedule,” Monahan said.

“When you look at our model and the fact that players are independent contractors, for us putting the best tournaments forward week-in and week-out, recognising that in our sport players like to play in certain conditions, certain markets, like to sequence their schedule differently, a lot of factors that go into the schedule that we have, and we’ve got great commitments from the markets where we play, and that’s what’s gotten us to here.

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“This is not the first time we’ve heard this. When you’re in Player Advisory Council meetings, when we’re in board meetings, we’re constantly looking at how our schedule is performing.

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