The PGA Tour is making major changes to its schedule and the way a number of its events are played as the second season of LIV Golf kicks off.
The PGA Tour ratified a motion Tuesday that reduces courses for eight designated events in 2024 to between 70 and 80 golfers with no 36-hole cut.
The tour has not announced which events will be affected, but the majors, the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Players Championship will not be included in the changes.
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«Over the past year, we have spent a significant amount of time exploring how to best position the PGA Tour for continued growth,» PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan wrote in a memo. «How to innovate and deliver a better product. How to further showcase our best players, while staying true to the meritocracy and legacy that define the tour. How to create a season of consequence that deepens and broadens fan interest. How make every tournament better and provide more value to sponsors, media partners and host organizations, for the benefit of all members.»
Monahan says the tour will «focus on ensuring purse size, eliminating a cutoff and distributing FedEx Cup points to sufficiently incentivize top players to participate in designated events.»
The changes will «reward the best players, provide ample opportunity to play from season-long performance and different intervals throughout the season, keep the emphasis on winning, and be easy for fans to understand,» Monahan added.
Rory McIlroy, perhaps the PGA’s most active voice against LIV, approves of the changes.
«At the end of the day, I think with all these designated events and this schedule of events, at the end of the day, we’re selling a product to people,» he said at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill on Wednesday. «The more clarity they have on that product and knowing what they’re buying is really important. It’s really important for the tour. I think this solves…that.»
«The product is important,» Max Homa told reporters. «I think it’s easy to frame these changes as a way to put more money in the pockets of the best players. But it’s been done to make it easier and more fun for the fans. I know it’s low hanging fruit. ‘Oh, this is just a money grab.’
«It’s a guarantee on who’s going to be at events, more or less, and it leans more on the ‘plus’ there. It’s more of an opportunity for the best players to fight late on Sundays. Which, you look back on in the days of phil [Mickelson] and tiger [Woods], the two best players that grew for me, and they had, like, maybe two battle royales. So let’s have more of that. We just had Scottie [Scheffler] and Jon [Rahm] he wrestled in Phoenix, and that was amazing. Two of the three best players in the world are doing it, so I think that’s great.»
«I think it’s exciting because the best players in the world will be playing each other more often,» added Scheffler. «You’ll be able to guarantee the sponsors that those guys will be there for four days. If you come to an event to see it on Saturday and Sunday and, you know, if I imagine myself as a kid, I’d like to get out early.»
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LIV Golf was quick to react to the changes on the PGA Tour.
«Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Congratulations PGA Tour. Welcome to the future.» the league tweeted.