On March 13, when the golf world last saw PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan addressing the media after canceling the Players Championship, he looked like a man who had been through the ringer.
He looked like he hadn’t slept in days while weighing all the various scenarios of how to deal with a global pandemic that was on the verge of shutting down all of sports, let alone the economy. But after he answered the final question, he felt the need to add a parting shot.
“Can I say one more thing?” he asked as if someone might actually stop him. “Golf is the greatest game on the planet. There are a lot of golf courses in this country. There are a lot of people that are in this business, in this industry that make their living through this game, and I hope that everybody as they go through this uncertain time gets an opportunity to get out, play golf, be outside, support their PGA of America professional, support this game, be inspired by this game.”
The Forecaddie loved the sentiment then, and loves it even more now. Well, it turns out that The Commish walked the walk over at TPC Sawgrass, at least he did on April 26.
That was the last day that the famed island green at 17 was open before it was closed for some drainage work and Monahan made the most of his shot at glory – acing the par 3 hole. Other than perhaps the 7th at Pebble Beach, the 12th at Augusta National or the 16th at Cypress Point – can you think of a more memorable place for a hole-in-one?
TMOF knows of The Commish’s heroics because he went to drown his sorrows at the 19th hole at TPC Sawgrass after another forgettable round at TPC’s sister course, Dye’s Valley. On the way, TMOF stopped off to wash his hands – never washed hands so much, but we digress – and paused to look at the plaques commemorating all the aces at the eight par 3s on the two resort courses. There it was, the last person to walk off the 17th green feeling like a god, none other than Jay Monahan.
TMOF wishes he could tell you whether Monahan faded an easy 8 into the wind to a back pin or thinned a wedge and got lucky that it one-hopped into the hole or even if he celebrated with the official beer of the PGA Tour, Michelob Ultra. That’s because he’s as tight lipped about his game as he is about Conduct Unbecoming.
Let’s just say it’s a safe bet that Gary Koch would have described the shot as better than most. Better. Than. Most! And consider Monahan reminded yet again why golf is the greatest game on the planet and TMOF properly inspired to get his name on the board next as soon as the 17th re-opens later this summer.