Rarely has a bureaucratic promotion created such a buzz. But when PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that Jay Monahan, the former executive director of the Players Championship and the tour’s Chief Marketing Officer, was being promoted to the newly created position of Deputy Commissioner, chat rooms lit up with speculation that this was the slow passing of the PGA Tour torch.
Finchem didn’t call Monahan “Commissioner in waiting,” but that seems to be the working title he’s assuming. A charming 43-year-old former college golfer who joined the Tour in 2008 after running the Deutsche Bank Championship for IMG, Monahan is perfectly suited to slide into Finchem’s spot when the commissioner’s contract runs its course in 2016. Finchem will be 69 by then and Monahan will be 45, right in the wheelhouse for an organization that likes its bosses to hang around at least 20 years.
“Even though the PGA Tour continues to grow and prosper, this step is being taken to further strengthen our organizational structure, enhance our management coordination, and ultimately to continue to deliver on three key pieces of our core business: driving benefits to our players, growing the charity support in the communities where we play and doing our part in golf to help grow and protect this great game,” Finchem said in his statement announcing Monahan’s promotion. “Jay’s new role in this key leadership position will help continue our momentum.”
No announcement on the commissioner’s job is expected for some time, but this appears to be the first step in clearing what had been murky waters in Ponte Vedra Beach. Certainly anything can happen. But the succession picture seems a lot clearer now than it was yesterday.