SBD/March 19, 2014/People and Pop Culture

PGA Tour Names Jay Monahan Deputy Commissioner; Could He Succeed Finchem?

Monahan could be in line to become Commissioner if Finchem retires in '16
The PGA Tour yesterday promoted CMO JAY MONAHAN to Deputy Commissioner, effective April 1. Monahan will report directly to PGA Tour Commissioner TIM FINCHEM (PGA Tour). The AP's Doug Ferguson noted Monahan's promotion is the "first indication of a possible successor" to Finchem, the "last person to hold that position" before being appointed commissioner in '94. Finchem in January '12 "signed a four-year extension" through '16 and suggested he "probably wouldn't stay" after that term. Monahan joined the Tour in '08 as director of The Players Championship and in March 2013 was promoted to CMO, "placing him in charge of corporate marketing and sponsor relations, one of the most critical positions on tour" (AP, 3/18). GOLFWEEK's Jim McCabe noted the "prevailing thought has been that Finchem could enjoy the last few years of his reign and groom a successor." But until Monahan was named to his new post, the "identity of that man was up for debate." PGA Tour Exec VP & Chief Global Communications Officer TY VOTAW and Exec VP/Championship Management & Tournament Business DAVID PILLSBURY were "often suggested, but it appears that Finchem has settled on Monahan." Ultimately, that decision "would rest with members of the PGA Tour's Policy Board." Finchem "wouldn't have a vote, though his recommendation would carry weight" (GOLFWEEK.com, 3/18). Golfer STEWART CINK said of the speculation Monahan will succeed Finchem, "On the outside, it looks like that. Come to think of it, that might look like that on the inside, too" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 3/19).

TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW: GOLF DIGEST's Ron Sirak wrote if Monahan does eventually get the commissioner job, he will have "a tough act to follow." Finchem was "the man in charge when the World Golf Village was created as well as the World Golf Hall of Fame, the World Golf Championships, the FedEx Cup and The First Tee." He "masterfully steered the tour through the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression, helped golf get back into the Olympics and forged business alliances with pro tours in Canada, Latin America and China, which are seen as growth areas for the game." While there is a chance Finchem might want to continue on after '16, the "general thinking is that he will leave after the return of golf to the Olympics that year." The new commissioner will then "have plenty of time to get his feet on the ground before the TV deals with CBS, NBC and Golf Channel expire" in '21 (GOLFDIGEST.com, 3/18).
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