PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Just two weeks after capturing top honors at the Farmers Insurance Open, his sixth victory on the PGA Tour, Max Homa had the ear of commissioner Jay Monahan.
Homa had heard that one of the Tour’s events suffered from low TV ratings and, with changes to the schedule coming yet again, he asked the commish if he was concerned about the numbers.
The response was enlightening.
“(Monahan) said, first and foremost, that just straight-up TV ratings isn’t the way the world works anymore,” Homa recalled on Tuesday during his news conference before the Players Championship. “If you think about the Waste Management, as he put it, there’s so much fanfare. … and this is corny, but all the celebrities and people who aren’t in the game of golf intimately that are out there and sharing it via social media or with their friends is boosting not only the PGA Tour but golf in general, which I think is great. So that was quite interesting.
“Then, of course, a day or two later he sent me the final ratings of it and it was I think the highest event. I can’t remember what day, Saturday or Sunday, but it was the highest-viewed event since the Players the year prior. So I thought that was a really good sign.”
Homa, who has grown into his role as one of the leaders of the recent top-heavy PGA Tour movement, missed the players meeting that took place early Tuesday but added that he’s been to more meetings in the last year than he had in any previous one. He also noted that he’s been picking the brain of Monahan, trying to better understand the Tour’s strategy.
“I think it’s easy for us to, as players, to look at these events and say, man, this is working great, like look at the last few designated events and the finishes and the players battling against each other and the leaderboards and just all of it, and it just seems so great,” Homa said. “I would assume that that would mean great ratings and great attention, but we don’t know that.
“So I kind of lean on, since I’ve had this conversation with Jay, where he can kind of continue to show me, not just explain, but show me that it is doing a great job, and again, I know I’m probably sounding like I just keep reiterating myself, but the reason I love this product model is because I’m a fan of golf. I love watching golf and I’ve loved watching golf since I was a little kid. That’s why I play it.”
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