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Jay Monahan Earns Rare Win as PGA Tour’s Worst Headache Finally Gets Resolved in Texas

Withdrawals, TV ratings, and weather conditions. Jay Monahan hasn’t had the best start to 2024. In the 14 PGA Tour events that have been completed this year, many of them suffered in one aspect. But it seems like the Tour and its commissioner needed the 15th tournament at the Valero Texas Open to free themselves once again from the quagmire caused by poor viewership numbers.

The Valero Texas Open didn’t seem to start off on the best note, with eight players retiring after the first round. However, owing to the exciting happenings on that first day of play – which ended with Akshay Bhatia taking the lead on the scoreboard – the first round actually became a ray of hope for Jay Monahan amidst the shock withdrawals. And Josh Carpenter, a golf reporter for Sports Business Journal, shared just how.

They tweeted, “First round of the Valero Texas Open: 362,000 viewers on Golf Channel, up 33% from 272,000 for Thursday last year.” This is truly a fascinating development if one looks at the numbers the previous events have brought in. Peter Malnati’s win on Sunday at the Valspar Championship saw an average of 1.886 million people tuning in, as opposed to the 2.594 million who watched the final round of the 2023 edition. What’s more, the 2024 Mexico Open didn’t fare that much better either.


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Considering the slumps that the PGA Tour has been witnessing, Monahan & Co. needs to grab ahold of the momentum gained with this 33% increase in viewership at the Valero Texas Open. Realistically, the Tour would need to do a better job than they did after the Sony Open in Hawaii. At the second event on the 2024 calendar, viewership for the final day’s play went up 16% from 2023, at an average of 425,000, all the while peaking at a whopping 891,000, a 24% rise from the previous year.

Despite this small win, though, finding the root cause for the significant dip in viewership is crucial. And four-time major champion Rory McIlroy revealed just how to do that.

“If you look at the TV ratings of the PGA Tour this year, they’re down 20% across the board. That’s a fifth. That’s big,” McIlroy pointed out. The Valero Texas Open may have given Jay Monahan a breather, but the true test, per McIlroy, would be the four major championships.

Rory McIlroy doubles down on TV ratings


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The Northern Irishman believes a big part of this dip in viewership is the tussle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. Commenting on it, the 34-year-old said, “I just think with the fighting and everything that’s went on over the past couple of years, people are just getting really fatigued of it, and it’s turning people off men’s professional golf. That’s not a good thing for anyone.” However, the four major championships are what he’s more interested in.

As per his Wednesday press conference at the event, McIlroy said, “It will be really interesting to see how the major championship numbers fare compared to the other bigger events because if the numbers are better and you’ve got all the best players in the world playing, then there’s an argument to say, ‘OK, we need to get this thing back together.’” At the end of the day, good competition is what drives viewership. And with the best players in the world competing, the majors are bound to be a spectacle. But if that’s not the case…

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And “the numbers aren’t as good, it’s an argument to still say we need to put everyone back together because people are losing interest in the game if they don’t [even] want to tune in to the four major championships.” Having expressed that the split between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf isn’t beneficial for anyone, it seems like he does believe the impending merger is the way to go.


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With the Masters starting on April 8, it’ll be interesting – as McIlroy said – to monitor the TV ratings and viewership numbers for the event. Do you think the PGA Tour can keep up the momentum gained at the ongoing Valero Texas Open in Augusta?


PGA Tour News: Jay Monahan and Co. Make a Roaring Comeback Following ‘Horrible’
Coverage Concerns

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