AUSTIN, Texas — Tim Finchem officially declared himself a short-timer as PGA Tour commissioner after confirming that he received a one-year contract extension last week.
In an impromptu news conference Sunday with reporters at the WGC-Dell Match Play, Finchem said he received a contract extension from the PGA Tour Policy Board last week, extending his contract to June 1, 2017.
However, Finchem, 68, doubts he will stay on the job much past the end of 2016. His successor is widely believed to be chief operating officer Jay Monahan.
“Really the length of the contract really is just a placeholder in terms of giving me a little more time to do some of the projects I’m engaged in now,” Finchem said of his future. “I want to bring those forward, so I wouldn’t anticipate I’m going to stay that long.”
Earlier this week, Monahan was named chief operating officer after having been appointed deputy commissioner – only the second in the history of the PGA Tour – in April 2014.
Finchem, who succeeded Deane Beman as commissioner on June 1, 1994, came to the Tour from a consulting background. Monahan arrived at Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in 2008 as executive director of The Players Championship. He had been tournament director of the Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston. In recent years, Monahan has been the Tour’s chief marketing officer before being promoted to deputy commissioner.
“The only remaining thing, candidly, when we named him two years ago was relationships, honestly, because relationships take a while to transfer,” Finchem said of Monahan’s professional development upon being named deputy commissioner. “So we’ve been working hard on that for a couple of years. You all know Jay. Making a relationship is a slam dunk for him.”
With Monahan handling all day-to day operations of the PGA Tour, according to Finchem, that frees up the commissioner to deal with some big-picture projects, including his chairmanship of the board of the World Golf Foundation and the development of global golf.
“I’m a hundred percent confident that the things I’m focused on now will be where I’m comfortable stepping aside,” Finchem said of his plans. “For every organization there’s a time when it needs to morph. It’s really incidental whether I can continue doing a good job. I think I could. I think I could probably work another five or six years, but I don’t think that’s the best thing for the organization … But that’s not the real major factor. The major factor is, Jay is ready. He’ll bring real energy.”