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‘Mentally Exhausting’: Jay Monahan Hit With a Harsh Reality Check From 4x PGA Tour Winner

Published 03/02/2024, 5:30 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

In the past two years, the PGA Tour has had a fast-evolving landscape, courtesy of LIV Golf’s uprising. To counter the Saudi league, Jay Monahan and his team have done everything from announcing a LIV Golf merger and signing a $3 billion deal with Strategic Sports Groups to changing the PGA Tour’s scheduling and format. However, many players haven’t taken to the changes too well, and one of them is Daniel Berger.

After his return to the greens following an excruciating back injury, Daniel Berger made his first podcast appearance. The 30-year-old sat for a tête-à-tête with the No Laying Up podcast and talked about injury rehab and changes on the PGA Tour while he was away. The latter was a sour subject for Berger. After his recovery, the four-time PGAT winner expressed he would “like to be more involved” in the Tour’s affairs. But there is a hurdle: the PGA Tour has changed.

Daniel Berger: A Pebble Beach winner who didn’t get to defend his title

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The PGA Tour has increased the purses and thus changed the format of a few events, now known as the Signature Events. However, as the format offers huge purses to a small field, some might miss the Signature Events. Discussing this, Berger expressed his discontent over Monahan’s strategies to combat LIV Golf, which affected him negatively.

“Before all this happened, I was a top 20 player in the world, and I was in every major championship and all the Elevated Events,” said the 30-year-old. However, due to the new qualification criteria and format, coupled with his absence, he explained, “When I came back, I basically came back with full PGA Tour status but not qualified for any of those events.” Moreover, the changes stopped him from playing the last event he won – the 2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

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The Plantation native said, “The last time I played Pebble Beach, I won the tournament, and I never got a chance to defend it because I got hurt the next year, and then it became an Elevated Event. I wasn’t in it. It would have been nice to be able to defend the tournament that I won the last time I played it.” With all these major changes, Berger couldn’t help but share how he felt about them.

He last attended the players’ meeting in TPC Scottsdale at the WM Phoenix Open. But after the meeting, Berger was left speechless at how much has been going on in the golf world. “The whole thing, it’s exhausting to think about. I don’t even know what to say. It’s mentally exhausting to think about. I don’t really know how else to put it,” he explained.

Although the recent changes made by Jay Monahan in the events schedule and format have been frustrating for Berger, the pro could sympathize with the exhaustion of the leadership and the PAC’s directors may have felt. “I feel bad for whoever has to deal with that on the day-to-day. I really respect the players that are on the player board.” As for the changes, Daniel Berger isn’t alone in his feelings about the new format.

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The PGA Tour’s changes are tailored to only the top players, per Rafael Campos

When the PGA Tour announced the new Designated Events model in 2023, James Hahn was among the first to express his dislike. In an interview with Golfweek, he said, “I hate them. If our players just said, ‘We’re doing this for the money,’ I would have a lot more respect for them. But how they’re covering up what they’re doing and trying to make it a thing about sponsors and fans and saving opposite-field events. I think that’s all BS.”

More recently, Rafael Campos expressed how he doesn’t “feel part of the PGA Tour. And that’s really depressing.” As reported by sportsbusinessjournal.com, “Campos said the changes the PGA Tour is making are their way of ‘trying to do what’s good for everybody,’ but ‘we all know it tailors only to the top players in the world, and it really did put a burden on the rest of the guys.’”

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However, golfers like Rory McIlroy and Max Homa have welcomed the change. That being said, what are your thoughts on the changing landscape of the PGA Tour?

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Written by:

Khambe Huda Imran

717Articles

One take at a time

Huda Khambe is a Golf Writer for EssentiallySports. Growing up watching Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam bag one major after the other, Huda Khambe set herself on a path to becoming a sports writer early on. With a year of prior experience in writing, Huda now brings the greens to life with her unique insights on her favorite storylines, such as Jack Nicklaus's record rivalry with Tiger Woods and its impact on both stars.
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