In late February, fresh off announcing itself as the PGA Tour’s new LIVE broadcaster, ESPN attempted to frame Jay Monahan, the commissioner of the tax-exempt monopoly, as the alpha, who was swatting away this little LIV Golf upstart tour.
ESPN headlined it this way: Jay Monahan: PGA Tour ‘Moving On,’ Any Players on Fence About Rival League Must ‘Make a Decision’.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says he has “zero complacency” when it comes to the threat of a Saudi-funded rival league, and he has a clear message for any player still tempted to leave.
“I told the players we’re moving on and anyone on the fence needs to make a decision,” Monahan said Wednesday in a telephone interview.
He also emphasized anew that players who sign up for the Saudi golf league will lose their PGA Tour membership and should not expect to get it back.
Four months later, after losing four of its eight most recognizable brand-name stars in Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau (Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods are the other four), ESPN is now framing Monahan as the all-American underdog, unable to compete with LIV Golf’s massive bucket of cash.
ESPN headline: PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says LIV Golf Invitational Series is an ‘Irrational Threat’ to the Game.
Just as PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was unveiling increased purses, a revamped schedule and dramatic changes to the FedEx Cup Playoffs, LIV Golf sent a news release confirming that four-time major champion Brooks Koepka had defected to the new circuit being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
“As I also said to the players [on Tuesday], let me be clear: I am not naive,” Monahan said during a news conference at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. “If this is an arms race and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can’t compete. The PGA Tour, an American institution, can’t compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in an attempt to buy the game of golf.”
Maybe, instead of spending the last two years weaving wokeism into “all fabrics of the PGA Tour’s business,” Monahan should have been more focused on the bottom-line of the business.
While Monahan was busy hiring employees for the newly-formed Department of Diversity, Exclusion and Wokeness at Ponte Vedra (while laying off the unwashed unwoke), Greg Norman was building a professional golf tour.
On September 1, 2021, ahead of last year’s Tour Championship, I wrote: “The wokeness strain metastasizes and spreads into every nook and cranny of a company’s culture, including its voice and values. Before you know it, a seemingly bulletproof sports brand – a one-time all-American powerhouse, almost overnight, collapses into a far-left anti-American pile of wet garbage.”
And here we are, almost overnight (or nine months later) the “all-American powerhouse,” after swallowing the cancerous pill of wokeness, lost focus of its core mission, let its guard down, and is now at its weakest point since its founding.
Not a bad prediction… I must say.