ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – After PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced Tuesday evening to the membership that Rory McIlroy was stepping down as a member of the Tour Policy Board with one year left on his term in office, the talk of the locker room at Sea Island Resort has been who will replace him.
“I was actually thinking about it this morning,” said veteran pro Ryan Armour on Wednesday.
We’ll get back to Armour in a moment but let’s begin with Lanto Griffin, the winner of the 2019 Houston Open, who had plenty to say about McIlroy, who succeeded Jordan Spieth as a player director on the board, serving a three-year term (2022-24).
“Rory was great because he was approachable by everybody, but at the same time he was bought by the Tour,” Griffin said. “The head of the board has the same sponsors as the Tour and the Players, there’s influence there – I’m talking Workday, I can’t remember all of them, Golfpass. The guy who’s running the board is being paid by all the title sponsors, it’s a little sketchy to me.”
Griffin, 35, who is playing on a major medical after having a microdiscectomy to repair a disc in his back late last year, said he would like to see someone who has prior experience on the Player Advisory Council or board and was a well-liked veteran by the majority of the players.
“There are certain guys out here among the top players who won’t give you the time of day and then there are guys like Rory who will. I talked to him for about 30 minutes at Players and then again in Canada, which is really nice of him, and he listens,” Griffin said. “There are some guys out here who wouldn’t do it. Justin Thomas wouldn’t do it. Collin Morikawa wouldn’t. I feel like there is an elitist group. Rory feels like he can listen in and understand where we’re coming from, too. Someone like that with personality. Brandt Snedeker just to throw a name out. Someone who is respected by everybody but also has some perspective and isn’t just making $40 million to $50 million off the course and is going to be guaranteed to be in every elevated event.”
The mention of Signature Events took Griffin down a different path, but his comments are worth exploring because they give a window into how the rank-and-file players feel heading into uncertain times. In short, Griffin contends the…