Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan reacts to Woods news after sleepless night

BRADENTON, Fla. – PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan met with the media at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession on Wednesday morning in the wake of Tiger Woods’ single-car accident in Los Angeles.


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Woods suffered compound fractures to his lower extremities and remains hospitalized in L.A. He was already sidelined as he worked to recover from a fifth back surgery and had missed starts at the Farmers Insurance Open and last week’s Genesis Invitational, where he serves as the tournament host. He had remained in Los Angeles to fulfill sponsor and media obligations.

“I was in my office on a Microsoft Teams call,” Monahan said, when asked how he learned about the accident mid-day Tuesday. “I answered my phone and I guess my reaction was shock, I was shocked. I kind of had to sit down and ask the same question I had asked a second time because I wasn’t sure I completely heard what I was being told.”

Monahan said he had not spoken to Woods and admitted he didn’t sleep much Tuesday night. The two have known each other since before Monahan joined the TOUR and even before he was tournament director of the Dell Technologies Championship in Boston. Prior to that, he worked for EMC, which sponsored the World Cup when Woods and David Duval represented the U.S.  

“So, the way I look at it is it’s never about me,” Monahan said. “I was like a lot of people out here. Timing is everything in life, and I wanted to pursue a career in sports. I went to graduate school in 1996, got out in ’97 and started my career and ended up working, finding a way to work at a company that did a lot in golf. Once I saw the environment of the PGA TOUR and once I saw Tiger and all the great players in action, it led me to want to pursue a career here.”

Tuesday’s news came at a particularly busy time as the golf world anticipates the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession. Then comes next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, followed by THE PLAYERS Championship in two weeks.

The accident briefly put all of that on hold.

“No, absolutely not,” Monahan said, when asked if he could still multi-task after receiving such terrible news. “I was up all night last night and I couldn’t – I couldn’t really focus on anything else.”

He said he’s been in touch with Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, and stressed that for now the well-being of Woods the person will take precedence over the viability of Woods the golfer.

“Well, I think that the only thing that really matters now is his well-being,” Monahan said. “His recovery, his family, the level of support that we provide to him. 

“Listen, when Tiger wants to talk about golf, we’ll talk about golf,” he continued, “but I think right now the entirety of our efforts needs to be around the support. When you’re going to overcome what he needs to overcome, I think the love of all of our players and everybody out here, it’s going to come forward in a big way and across the entire sporting world. I think he’ll feel that energy and I think that’s what we should all focus on.”  

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