Jack Nicklaus describes 2024 Tour changes, says PGA National will have stronger field
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida. Jack Nicklaus thinks the Honda Classic should have a chance at a stronger field due to looming changes to the PGA Tour, which he says on Sunday will mean Pebble Beach gets higher status and the Tour heads to Mexico ahead of Florida . sway.
Nicklaus, who appeared at the PGA National’s final round on Sunday, said a redesigned schedule in 2024 would give South Florida’s only Tour event – by whatever name it may be known – a chance to attract higher-ranked players.
None of the top 17 players in the world rankings played Honda this week.
Nicklaus said the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Genesis Invitational at Riviera next year will be promoted tournaments with $20 million in purses, while the WM Phoenix Open will lose that status.
Full results from Honda Classic
The Tour has had two major events ahead of the Honda this year, with two more to follow in Bay Hill and the Players Championship.
Honda is ending title sponsorship of the PGA National, but Nicklaus said the event will remain the start of Florida’s 2024 push.
“Next year’s schedule is Pebble and LA are top notch tournaments,” Nicklaus said. “Phoenix is gone. Then they go to Mexico, then here. So next year we will have players. They also have Bay Hill and Players. The tournament will be great.”
The PGA Tour is in the process of updating its 2024 schedule, including course sizes and compliance, as it responds to the Saudi funded LIV Golf threat. The 2024 schedule is not expected to be announced until summer at the earliest.
Nicklaus and his wife Barbara settled near the PGA National and have close charitable ties to the tournament. The event raised millions for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Fund.
“This city supported this event without having a big field,” Nicklaus said.
Many of the Tour’s top players have missed the Honda in recent years, though some of them live just minutes away from the PGA National. But Nicklaus never encouraged players to enter the tournament and said he would not change that policy.
“I do not do this. I don’t do it for the Memorial Tournament. I don’t do that for any tournament,” Nicklaus said. “I didn’t like it when people did this to me. If you are going to play, you will play. If you’re not going to play, you won’t play.”