Wall Street Journal exposes Jay Monahan's use of PGA Tour private jet

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is obliged to use a private jet supplied by the Tour for commercial and personal, ensuring "efficiency and security."

Matt Chivers's picture
Thu, 15 Sep 2022
Wall Street Journal exposes Jay Monahan's use of PGA Tour private jet

A report from the Wall Street Journal has detailed PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan's use of a private jet throughout his tenure as Tour boss.

Using commercial flight tracking and county records, the report showed that Monahan is required to use this corporate plane because it provides "a necessary level of efficiency, privacy and security."

A PGA Tour-owned Citation X jet flew from Florida to an airport near Steamboat Springs in Colorado. A trust under the name of Monahan's wife owns property in this town as shown by the county records.

This was one of 17 times that this Tour jet landed in Steamboat Springs. Records also showed trips to Missoula, Montana, Nantucket, Massachusetts and Turks and Caicos, where Brooks Koepka's wedding took place.

The Tour's expenditure, which rewarded Monahan earnings of $14.2 million in 2020, has never been further under the microscope due to the emergence of the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

LIV Golf presents $25 million prize purses at each of the seven events of its regular season. An individual winner of an event banks $4 million, while last place in the 48-man fields earns $120,000.

In response to the emerging threat of the Saudi-backed series, Monahan announced significant changes to the PGA Tour schedule in 2023. There will be 12 Elevated Events with an average purse of $20 million and the 'top 20' players have supposedly promised their participation in each one.

Monahan was asked: "Where is all the money coming from?" when he announced these wholesale changes at the Tour Championship in August. He pointed to the prudency of the Tour's financial management.

"The Tour through the years has been very prudent in managing its finances and building reserves and being in a position to be able to invest in programmes that are going to help the Tour grow. That's what they're there for, and that's what we'll continue to use them for," Monahan said in reply.

"I would say additionally our partners, our sponsors, and all of our partners who want to get behind and are getting behind the direction that we're going in, want to be a part of the continued growth and evolution of the Tour.

"They recognise that with the changes we're talking about today, the changes that we've made prior to today, and the direction we're heading in, we're going to be creating more value."