Rory a victim of cowardly Monahan and it’s now affecting his golf

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Should the CEO of any company be letting one of its employees speak for them?

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has had his leadership called into question on several occasions since LIV Golf drove a wedge into the golf ecosystem and this week’s The PLAYERS Championship was a cast iron example of a manager hiding behind somebody else.

Rory McIlroy’s name is synonymous with the game of golf, not just for his ability on the course, but now his authority off the course has both been lauded and criticised in equal measure.

For the best part of twelve months McIlroy has appeared to carry the fight for the PGA Tour towards LIV Golf and despite a few glaring losses to LIV he has stemmed the tide of elite PGA Tour players fleeing to the Saudi backed tour.

But now it’s becoming tiresome.

The PLAYERS Championship is the PGA Tour’s flagship event, ‘the fifth major,’ supposedly the strongest field in golf. It’s the tournament where Jay Monahan can address the world of golf from PGA HQ and assert his leadership.

Glancing at the interview schedule on Monday night, Monahan’s name appeared third on the list behind Jon Rahm and McIlroy.

And then McIlroy morphed into the unofficial PGA Tour Commissioner as Monahan edges back into the bushes and waits for the Holywood native to field questions about the PGA Tour changes, the players meeting, LIV Golf, never mind how he feels about the PLAYERS Championship.

Enter Monahan after a couple of hours to answer questions that have already been asked. Having listened to McIlroy and Rahm, he can’t be caught out, he knows the answers, the headlines have already been made.

Surely at PGA HQ, the flagship event for the tour, the Commissioner should be first up, front and centre?

Since last summer, McIlroy has been the pied piper with Monahan dancing to whatever tune he plays. Monahan has appeared as nothing more than a coward who lacks any sense of authority. It’s as if he’s a hopeless house elf in Harry Potter being beaten and ordered around by Lucius Malfoy.

Monahan’s name is rarely if ever mentioned in any jibes coming from LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman who in fairness, has fronted up and represented his tour in this feud, like any leader of an organisation should.

For McIlroy this bravado aided him from a brief slump in form as he returned to what could be deemed close to the peak of his powers, if not the full monty.

However, the LIV Golf feud has grown tiresome and it has drained McIlroy who has been visibly more frustrated recently than at any point last season and his missed cut at the PLAYERS proved as much.

Being the superhero is toiling McIlroy who admitted that he feels the external factors (players meetings for example) have had a negative effect on his preparation and performances in tournaments.

“I’d love to get back to being a golfer, yeah. Look, it’s been a busy couple of weeks, honestly it’s been a busy sort of six or eight months. Yeah, it’s just the time management. The golf out here, that’s fine, but it’s just more the time at home to make sure you’re getting prepared, to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to be ready once you show up to these weeks. That’s where I’ve maybe sacrificed a little bit of time with some of this other stuff.”

After last year’s sensational Sunday 64 at the Masters, it came as such a great shame that the next Augusta date was always another twelve months away.

Now, a month away, there is concern over McIlroy’s form heading into his latest tilt at the Career Grand Slam. Driver and putting issues while he seems to be swiping and snarling at everything that goes wrong.

At 33 years of age, he should realistically have another 20 years of chances to don a green jacket, but for how long can he stay close to the peak of his powers?

The way he ended 2022, it would be a huge disappointment if he let issues in the golf ecosystem cloud his chances at in April and going forward.

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2 responses to “Rory a victim of cowardly Monahan and it’s now affecting his golf”

  1. Joe avatar

    Maybe different in Ireland, but in US, people don’t want to hear all that much from Commissioners of sports leagues. Fans boo Roger Goodell loudly at the NFL draft. You can be sure that behind the scenes Monahan is spending way more of his time than he wants on the LIV issue. Most importantly, as an attorney who has tried many unfair competition cases in my 44 year career of practicing law, my advice is always “keep your mouth shut & don’t write stuff” in the middle of a lawsuit. Anything you say will be used against you and you’ll get beat over the head with it. Rory appears to have decided to be the voice of golf, much like everyone looks to LeBron. The difference is the NBA is not in the midst of a lawsuit with a threat to its existence. Rory has chosen or accepted his role as the moral voice of the PGA Tour. Good on him even though it has affected his game. He realizes that life is bigger than winning Augusta.

  2. brid avatar

    Ugly wordingf. It is known that the PGAT bosses better not feel free and speak to much. No reason to make GN happy.
    Rory is an adult, he is making his decisions to speak or not to speak. He now has enough time for the Augusta preparation. Now knowing its better to ignore pressers and meetings.

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