Rory Has Learned from PGA Tour PAC; Should Phil Have Done The Same?

PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 18: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the ninth tee during the second round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2022 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 18: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the ninth tee during the second round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2022 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Rory McIlroy’s time on the PGA Tour PAC ( Player Advisory Council) has taught him how the business and charity aspects of the PGA Tour operate.  Would Phil Mickelson’s recent decisions have been different if he had been involved as a policymaker for the PGA Tour?

McIlroy said by serving on the PAC, Player Advisory Council, he has received an education in the who, what, when, where, and why’s of the PGA Tour.

“I’ve been a member of the PAC now for a few years and worked my way up to the policy board this year and for the next few years,” he explained in his pre-tournament press conference at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “I certainly know a lot more about Tour business now than I did before I started.”

Rory cited being educated about the pension plan and deferred compensation as two topics that are actually very important to Tour members.

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“It’s the best structure in sports for a league of athletes or members,” he insisted.

When asked if he thought serving on the PAC should be something every Tour player needed to do, he said, while he doesn’t think it should be mandatory for players to participate in the governance structure, he does agree that players benefit from having knowledge of how their organization works.

"“They have to realize that the PGA Tour executives and everyone that works back in Ponte Vedra, they work for us, and they’re trying to do the best job for the members of the Tour,” Rory McIlroy explained."

Then he added, “And all the net revenues flow to us (players).”

McIlroy said it was the job of the players on the PAC to keep the Tour staff accountable and to be sure they are operating in the right manner.  As of now, he believes the staff in Ponte Vedra is managing things very well.

“I would be the first one to put my hand up and say if they weren’t, but right now I appreciate the job that they’re doing,” he noted.

Rory cited the organization’s creative approach to operating through the pandemic, which was a huge challenge.  He also noted that overall financials were the best ever in 2021.

“From what I’ve seen over the last few years, they handled the pandemic well, probably better than most other leagues did,” he said.

Rory McIlroy said that he does not have enough education in certain areas – like world events — to give an opinion there, but that when it comes to golf and the PGA Tour, he is comfortable making comments.

“With that voice comes responsibility to try to do the right thing. That’s all I try to do,” he insisted.

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While PGA Tour staffers are currently researching whether Mickelson ever spent time on the PAC, according to what McIlroy said, by serving, any player can learn how the organization functions.

It makes a person wonder, if any player has the opportunity to learn how the PGA Tour operated, why would a player make statements that weren’t accurate regarding operations like the ones that Mickelson made and the PGA Tour executives refuted?

Players currently serving on the PAC include:

Patrick Cantlay
Paul Casey
Austin Cook
Joel Dahmen
Harry Higgs
Billy Horschel
Russell Knox
Brooks Koepka
Justin Lower
Peter Malnati
Graeme McDowell
Maverick McNealy
Trey Mullinax
Jon Rahm
Webb Simpson
Will Zalatoris