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Tour memo addresses player compensation, ‘discipline’ team and rejects model local rule

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan returned to work last week following a leave because of a “medical situation” and on Wednesday he updated players of the progress the circuit has made toward a “definitive” agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia as well as key structural changes to the Tour’s leadership.

The two-page memo also addressed next year’s schedule – which will be announced in two weeks at the FedEx St. Jude Championship – and the USGA and R&A’s proposed model local rule that would roll back the golf ball to limit distance.

“There is widespread and significant belief the proposed modified local rule is not warranted and is not in the best interest of the game,” the memo read. “Following a discussion on the topic at a recent [Player Advisory Council] meeting, we have notified the USGA and the R&A that while the PGA Tour is committed to collaborating with them – and all industry partners – to arrive at a solution that will best serve our players, our fans and the game at all levels, we are not able to support the MLR as proposed.”

The memo discussed the “complicated and time intensive” process of trying to reach a definitive agreement with the PIF and the DP World Tour and the addition of a “special advisor” – Colin Neville from Raine Group – as a “resource” for the five player directors on the Tour’s policy board.

Neville is a partner at Raine Group and leads the firm’s sports practice. According to various sources, he was one of the few non-players who attended last year’s meeting during the BMW Championship that set the foundation for the current designated-event schedule.

The memo also announced Jason Gore’s promotion to executive vice president and chief player officer. “Jason will assume leadership over all player relations and player partnerships functions, and he will provide player input and representation across the entire business,” the memo read.

The Tour has also created a “player benefit program” to manage the “planned compensation package,” if a definitive agreement is reached, for players who remained loyal to the Tour. It also announced a “player discipline” team – led by Gore, the Tour’s chief tournament and competitions officer Andy Pazder and executive vice president-social responsibility Neera Shetty – to develop pathways back to the Tour for players who were suspended after joining LIV Golf.

A player meeting is scheduled in two weeks in Memphis. The full memo can be read below: