PGA Tour announces ‘big changes’

CROMWELL, Conn. — The PGA Tour will return to its calendar-year schedule in 2024, one of a series of changes announced Wednesday that also includes eight tournaments, greatly increased prize money and a venue for the FedEx Cup playoffs Adjusted size and a reimagined fall season with up to three open-field, limited-space international events.

Commissioner Jay Monahan announced the changes in conjunction with the Policy Committee and Player Directors at a press conference at the Travelers Championship.

He also announced the changes in a letter to players.

“These changes will further strengthen the FedExCup and create a strong, coordinated global schedule,” Monahan wrote, detailing the condensed FedExCup season, which runs from January to August, “​​for the Our players, fans and partners deliver even more compelling offerings.”

Overall, the FedExCup playoffs will start to resize the venue next year. The top 70 will compete in the first game of the playoffs, the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis. The top 50 will compete in the BMW Championship, while the top 30 will compete for the FedEx Cup as usual at the East Lake Tour Championship.

The 70 players who qualify for the first playoff game will be fully exempt next season, including the Invitational. Anyone who exceeds that limit can improve his standing in the fall event, at the end of which the top 125 will be fully exempt for the following season.

“While it’s different from the past, I think it’s going to be very exciting for the fans and I think it’s going to create a lot of energy in the fall,” Monahan said, adding that he expects the fall event to be “very important. ,Very meaningful.”

In addition, the PGA Tour is making room for as many as three international, no-cut, limited-venue events with a top-50 finish from the final FedEx Cup and best-of-breed from the fall. The format and other details of these events are being reviewed by the Players Advisory Committee.

In addition to these changes, the Policy Committee has revised the resource allocation plan to increase wallet size for the following eight activities in 2023:

Sentinel Championship – $15 million (up from $8.2 million in 2022)

Genesis Invitational – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)

Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)

Players Championship – $25 million (up from $20 million in 2022)

WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)

Memorial Tournament at Workday – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)

FedEx St. Jude Championship – $20 million (up from $15 million in 2022)

BMW Championship – $20 million (up from $15 million in 2022)

Speaking at a lengthy press conference at TPC River Heights, Monaghan said: “There is still more work to be done, there are still many details to be confirmed, but making significant changes to our schedule gives us the best opportunities not only to benefit our players, but also to improve our product and create a platform for continued growth in the future.”

In a pre-tournament press conference for the Travelers Championship, two-time FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy reflected on the PGA Tour’s impact on his community while also reflecting on the organization’s future.

“I don’t think I’ve forgotten what the PGA Tour events … can do for their communities,” he said. “I don’t think the players have forgotten that when they come to the PGA Tour, they’re helping the community do some really good things…I think that’s important.”

McIlroy, one of four player executives on the PGA Tour’s policy committee, spent five hours discussing the schedule changes during Monday’s board meeting.

McIlroy said the enhanced events are “important to the future of the PGA Tour,” but will not reduce other events on the schedule.

“You’re going to have games that people love to play, and they’re going to come back and keep playing,” said McIlroy, who played for the fourth straight week.

The top three players in the FedExCup — Scottie Scheffler, Sam Burns and McIlroy — and six of the top 15 players in the official World Golf Rankings will tee off at the Travelers, Harris English is the defending champion.

“On the PGA Tour, our members compete for the opportunity to have their names added to the history books and, yes, huge financial benefits, without having to fight any kind of moral ambiguity,” Monahan said. “Pure competition creates the relevance and context that fans need and expect in order to dedicate their time to a sport and a player.

“That’s the beauty of the PGA Tour,” he added. “We have and will always provide our members with a global platform to compete against the best, earn their stars, and become household names.”

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