PGA Tour: According to commissioner Jay Monahan, golf’s “best players” have agreed to participate in at least 20 PGA Tour competitions annually.
The four major championships, the Players Championship, and 12 “elevated” PGA Tour events are among the 20 competitions, with an average prize pool of $20 million (£17 million) for each.
The three FedExCup Playoffs, the Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial Tournament, the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship, and the Sentry Tournament of Champions have already been confirmed as elevated events. According to Monahan, four additional elevated tournaments will be revealed at a later time.
The PGA Tour will next attempt to counter the danger posed by the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series by requiring players to add a minimum of three additional PGA Tour events to their calendars.
“Our top players are firmly behind the Tour, helping us deliver an unmatched product to our fans, who will be all but guaranteed to see the best players competing against each other in 20 events or more throughout the season,” Monahan said in a press conference ahead of the Tour Championship.
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“This is an extraordinary and unprecedented commitment, a testament to who these guys are and what they believe in. To now have our top players rally around this organization and commit to a portfolio of tournaments like never before, I think our fans, our partners, our players are going to love it. I promise you, there’s more to come.”
The Tour made its announcement just one week after Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods led a players-only meeting in Delaware prior to the BMW Championship.
“Everyone in that room realised that this is the best way forward,” McIlroy said. “We have all made a commitment to get together more often to make the product more compelling.
“I don’t care if they [players] leave [the PGA Tour] or not, it’s not going to make a difference to me, but I would at least like people to make a decision that is completely informed.”
Could LIV Golf participants be re-invited?
Asked if LIV Golf players who were impressed by the changes to the PGA Tour would be welcomed back, Monahan said: “No. They’ve joined the LIV Golf Series and they’ve made that commitment and many have made a multi-year commitment.
“I’ve been clear throughout, every player has a choice and I respect that choice. I think they understand that.”
Monahan added: “Where we’re competing [with LIV] is with our product, and our product is our schedule. We’ve made some strong enhancements to that for top players and for our entire membership, coming into this year and certainly as we go into 2023.
“When you’re dealing with a non-economic actor [LIV Golf], you have to come back to the core of who you are, and if the core of who you are is providing the single greatest competitive access and opportunities for players, and pipeline, then how do you make that stronger? And that’s what everything starts with.”