There are many important figures in the golf community, but few compare to Jay Monahan, the fourth and current commissioner of the PGA Tour, which organizes the main North American golf tours. He’s been involved in golf for almost two decades now, and plans on ramping up everything in the new year.
The PGA Tour has supported draft legislation, and been preparing, for legalized and regulated sports betting. The Tour believes that this could be a major source of revenue after the Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports gambling last year.
Monahan made it clear that he believes that the fact that fans can actually bet means that they will be more involved. He stated:
"Where we are from a gaming standpoint, I’ll break it down to two points. We have for the last couple of years put all the systems in place from an integrity program to monitoring program to our ShotLink technology in place so we can be in a position to participate. The reason we would do it is because we think gaming leads to more engagement.”
He seemed to indicate that betting would add dimensions to the golf experience, calling it a “second, third, or fourth-screen experience.” In this manner, fans would not only be interested in the event, but with the potential financial gain involved, as well.
Monahan also indicated that 'it could add a new level of excitement and competition between world-class players', as well. He referred to a match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, where Woods was reportedly baited into a $200,000 side bet.
Monahan admitted that it even brought out his inner fan, saying: “The one thing that I thought was interesting was at their press conference when Phil challenged [Tiger] to a first-hole birdie wager. To me, I was really interested in that as much as I was anything else. Obviously, it was a match and it was between the two of them, but it was an interesting way to start out the day.”