March 27, 2016

Tim Finchem says he's likely to step down at end of 2016

When the Chief Operating Officer title was added to Jay Monahan’s duties as the PGA Tour’s deputy commissioner earlier last week, it appeared Tim Finchem might be staying around a while. But in the last year of a four-year contract extension, the 68-year-old commissioner surprised observers by announcing a new one-year deal through June 2017 that he said he does not expect to complete.

“The length of the contract is really a placeholder,” Finchem said Sunday while visiting the WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin. “I wouldn’t anticipate staying that long. My plan would be—and that assumes I can make progress on my projects—to step aside at the end of this year.”

What those pet projects are remains unknown. Now in his 23rd year since taking over for Deane Beman, the tour’s first commissioner, Finchem admitted that Monahan—his handpicked successor who was named deputy commissioner in 2014—has already assumed most day-to-day operational duties while also strengthening ties with sponsors.

“Making a relationship is a slam dunk for him,” said Finchem of the affable Monahan, who will need only the tour policy board’s approval when Finchem steps down.

More surprising was Finchem’s admission that he believes the time has come for new energy, something Monahan, 43, figures to bring in the same way Adam Silver and Rob Manfred have delivered to the NBA and MLB after recently succeeding long-time commissioners David Stern and Bud Selig.

Said Finchem, “Jay is ready.”