Monahan again threatens ‘suspension’ to those tempted by breakaway Tour

Bernie McGuire

PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has again threatened suspension to any PGA Tour member tempted to join a proposed breakaway Super Golf League (SGL).

Monahan was on hand to speak to the PGA Tour rank-and-file at a mandatory players meeting called late on Tuesday afternoon (US time) ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Charlotte in North Carolina.

The meeting was called following an article in a London newspaper that the SGL has again been approaching some of the PGA Tour’s top players with believed offers of $30m contracts . The players mentioned include world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson.

Monahan had spoken earlier this year that any player who joins the start-up circuit will face immediate suspension and likely permanent expulsion from the Tour and he reiterated that stance at the meeting chaired by new Players Advisory Committee Chairman, Rory McIlroy.

It is understood Monahan acknowledged the new league poses a competitive threat and that the Tour was aware that officials from the proposed circuit have been recruiting many of the game’s top players the last few weeks in Florida. However, Monahan is also determined that no PGA Tour player will sign with the new league. He also echoed his promise to protect the Tour and its players and sponsors.

According to the Golf Channel who spoke to one player who attended the meeting, Monahan revealed he was not aware of any communication between officials with the SGL and any of the major championships or various media companies that might be included in a new broadcast agreement.

And Monahan finally addressed talk of a Player Impact Program (PIP) and indicated to those attending the meeting that the new PGA Tour initiative is designed to encourage top players to become more invested in the Tour and fan engagement.

The program, which will be based on several measurements including a player’s Q-rating and social media engagement, is designed to reward the Tour’s 10 most impactful players via a $40 million bonus pool. However, the PIP has generated controversy with suggestions that the $40m would be better used in helping grow the game and not grow the wallets of the elite 10 that really do not need an extra $10m in their savings.

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