Monahan wants to keep events in Hawaii
KAPALUA — Today is Jay Monahan’s eighth day on the job as PGA Tour commissioner.
After just that short time on the job, he already anticipates the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club remaining right where they’re at.
“I expect to be doing this with you for a long time to come, both this week and next week,” Monahan said during a roundtable discussion with print media Saturday morning at the Kapalua Plantation Course.
“We’ve been (playing in Hawaii) for 50 years and I think it’s part of the fabric and part of the core of who we are as an organization. It’s an important part of our season,” Monahan said. “And we will do everything we can to be here.”
The Seoul Broadcasting System has two years remaining on a 10-year deal to sponsor the tour event in Kapalua if no other backer is found.
SBS was also the title sponsor in 2010. In the six years that followed, it was Hyundai, which in January of 2016 announced a deal with the tour to sponsor an event at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
Monahan said an effort to find another sponsor is “well under way.”
“I think (SBS) would like to see another brand come in,” Monahan said. “We are taking an active role in trying to find a replacement sponsor. If I’m not worried about it, I don’t think you should be worried about it.”
As for possibly playing a week later at Kapalua to give players more time for themselves during the holiday season, Monahan said: “We think about everything, but is it practical? I’m not so sure.”
Monahan said he “absolutely” felt the Maui and Oahu events fit in January, but added: “It’s not a matter of what I think, it’s a matter of what the players think.”
Monahan said that the players’ love for Kapalua will be the largest part of keeping the event on the Valley Isle.
If he wants input from last year’s Hyundai winner, Jordan Spieth, he’ll get it.
“If Jay comes to me and says, ‘Hey, help me out,’ this is certainly a tournament I love and love here, so I would honestly really embrace trying to help in being a part of keeping it here,” Spieth said Wednesday.
Monahan said he’s “not surprised to hear Jordan say that because he’s said it on a number of different occasions and he’s always been there when we need him.”
“We’re unique in that if we get into a situation like that and a player can be helpful, we’re undefeated in getting that player to help us,” Monahan said. “Not only do they help us, but they can do it in a way that they relate very well to that sponsor.”
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org