Jay Monahan defends new PGA Tour schedule changes, pushes back on LIV Golf comparison
While some of the new changes are reminiscent of its Saudi-backed counterpart, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan insisted on Tuesday that the two leagues are still incredibly different.
The Tour announced several new changes for next season on March 1, which include a limited number of fields and no cuts at certain certain events. LIV Golf, which has just started its second season, is hosting 54-hole no-cut tournaments.
“I’d like to ask you, ‘Do you think we really look the same?'” Monahan said on TPC Sawgrass Tuesday ahead of the Players Championship. “You know that the players who compete in our tournaments in this new format next year will be eligible and they will earn it by placing in the top 50 in the FedEx Cup this year as well as their performance. autumn and, ultimately, in these fluctuations. This is what this organization has always stood for.”
Last month, the Tour announced specific changes to its schedule for next season. There will be 16 designated events in total, half of which are the four major championships, the players’ championship, and the FedExCup playoffs. These events will retain their normal abbreviations and field sizes. The remaining eight events will have a maximum of 80 golfers, will not be reduced, and will include increased wallets and points.
It’s still not entirely clear what those events are – although the Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial and Tournament of Champions will be included – or what the schedule for 2024 will look like, but Monahan said he expects details to come in the middle. -summer.
While parts of it look similar to the LIV Golf and the changes come amid a long legal battle with the new course, Monahan believes the changes will allow top golfers to compete regularly throughout the year.
“The core of the announced changes is our commitment to delivering the best PGA Tour experience to our fans and delivering the ultimate benefit to every PGA Tour participant across the board,” Monahan said. “We looked at every possible competitive model and it was obvious and perhaps obvious that no matter what we do differently, we need to showcase our best performers competing against each other more often.
“This is what the fans want and this is what the fans have been asking for… You need strong, exciting full blown events to ensure consistency and keep the PGA Tour in the spotlight every week with storylines and breakout stars.”
Ram: “It wouldn’t have happened without LIV Golf”
The Tour and LIV Golf were at odds from the start.
But both John Rahm and Rory McIlroy were quick to thank the league for pushing them to change.
“Without the LIV Golf, this would not have happened,” Ram said on Tuesday. “Like I said before, we should be grateful for this threat that the PGA Tour wanted to make a difference… I think that’s what we needed.”
McIlroy has been one of LIV Golf’s most vocal opponents since its inception and has been at the forefront of the Tour’s changes. He said Tuesday that he and Tiger Woods had first unveiled a special event version of the new model back at the BMW Championship in August.
“I think the advent of the LIV or the advent of a competitor to the PGA Tour has benefited everyone who plays elite professional golf,” McIlroy said. “I think when you’ve been the biggest golf league in the biggest market in the world for the past 60 years, you don’t have much incentive to innovate.
“It sparked a lot of innovation on the PGA Tour and I would say the outdated system was redesigned to try to reflect our position in the world in the 21st century with a media landscape… So. Yes, you know, with the advent of the LIV, it definitely had a huge impact on the game, but I think that everyone who is a professional golfer will benefit from it in the future.”