With the FedEx Cup finale approaching, recent incidents during golf outings have shifted the focus to the increasing threats arising from the explosion of sports betting in golf. With many fans sharing concerns over the negative impact increasing sports betting in the US may have on golf, the PGA Tour had to take a stand and protect the integrity of the ongoing golf competition.
Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA Tour, had very little to say on the ongoing gambling-related issue in golf. With the commissioner being very nonchalant during his end-of-season media appearances, it was anything but surprising that Monahan was booed during an interview following Viktor Hovland’s win of the 2023 FedEx Cup championship.
Monahan Avoiding Taking a Stand on Topics Related to PGA Tour’s Future, Professional Golfers Doubt the Integrity of Championships
When asked about the agreement between the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, and the Public Investment Group in Saudi Arabia, Monahan had very little to say on the topic. However, he wanted to stress that his commitment to the PGA Tour was all for the good of the tournament. While that sounded good on paper, many started doubting the integrity of the organization as elite golf was starting to become a subject of a collective income.
Soon after Monahan promised to protect the PGA Tour, professional golfer Jon Rahm made a statement, criticizing the intentions of the organization and anyone involved in professional golf. When asked about his opinion on spectators distracting players to ensure success in betting outcomes, the Masters champion responded that such instances are more common than one would expect.
Just recently, during the third round of the BMW Championship, a man from the crowd was shouting at Max Homa, as the golfer was preparing to make his 5-foot birdie. It appeared the heckler had made a $3 bet on Homa missing the shot, which was the reason for his attempts to distract the player. When asked to give his opinion on this incident, Rahm said that similar comments were also happening every time he played on tour.
Monahan Avoids Criticizing PGA Tour Crowd, Gets Booed at FedEx Cup Finale Despite That
When Monahan had to describe the crowd at the PGA Tour, he chose to praise the fans by calling them “tremendous” and ensuring they had immense respect for the golfers participating in the tour. While it would not be wise to criticize his customer base, considering the recent events, Monahan could have used a more assertive tone.
Despite his attempts to win over golf fans, Monahan still could not avoid the cold reception of the crowd at the FedEx Cup finale. Just a few moments after Viktor Hovland became the champion of the 2023 FedEx Cup tournament, Monahan made an appearance at East Lake. As Amanda Renner, an interviewer at CBS, was introducing the commissioner of the PGA Tour, the crowd booed Monahan.
Ever since the PGA Tour announced its agreement with LIV Golf’s supporter, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Monahan has been constantly scrutinized by golf fans. Despite the lack of support, however, Monahan still believes that the agreement will still help the Tour to move in a positive direction.