Cromwell, Conn. – Touring Championships, which many people consider to be one of the worst dates on the PGA Tour calendar – a week after The US Open is a success story that Commissioner Jay Monahan loves to discuss. He knows the tournament well, having graduated from Trinity College, which is just 11 miles from the TPC River Highlands in Hartford. But on a damp Wednesday afternoon, Monahan was in the media center to talk about something else: the threat the LIV Golf series poses to the PGA Tour and what the tour plans to do in the future.
As it turned out, Monahan spoke for just over 40 minutes and outlined the new structure that the PGA Tour plans to implement soon.
Here are five key takeaways from his press conference.
FedEx Cup Playoff Season Postponed to 2023
Patrick Cantley celebrates with Nikki Gidish and the FedEx Cup on Course 18 after winning the final round of the 2021 Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. (Photo: Kevin S. Cox/Getty Images)
At the end of this season, which will culminate in the final round of the Tour Championship on August 28, players ranked 125th or higher on the FedEx Cup points list will be eligible to play in the first FedEx Cup playoff tournament (FedEx St. Jude Championship) and receive a full exemption from participation in the PGA Tour for the next season. But Monahan announced on Wednesday that the number will drop to 70 from 2023.
There will still be three FedEx Cup playoffs, but the top 50 in the points standings will advance to the second round in 2023, and then the top 30 will advance to the Tour Championship after the second round.
Golfers who do not qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs will need to qualify for next season’s benefits by participating in the tournament series in the fall.
The calendar season is back
Rory McIlroy celebrating receiving the trophy after winning the 2022 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Etobicoke, Ontario. (Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Beginning in the fall of 2013, the PGA Tour adopted a consolidated schedule that ended in late summer 2014, but Monahan announced Wednesday that the tour intends to return to the calendar season in 2024. This means the 2024 PGA Tour season will start in January and end at the end of August, making it more condensed.
The advantage of this system, especially for elite golfers, is that golfers can enjoy the off-season and not worry about returning to the game with low FedEx Cup points.
“Selfishly, I would have preferred the offseason,” Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday. “I wish I didn’t show up in February and be 150th on the FedEx Cup points list because I just didn’t want to play in the fall, I wanted to take a vacation and spend time with my family.”
However, beginning in 2023, golfers who qualify for the second round of the FedEx Cup playoffs will also be eligible for a new series of three international tournaments that will take place in the fall. These events are expected to take place in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, each with $20 million in purses.
Huge purse increases at eight events
Joaquin Niemann poses with the trophy after winning the 2022 Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)
Some of the biggest events on the PGA Tour will have significantly more prize money available to players starting next season, including the Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the Memorial Tournament. The amount of these measures will increase from 12 to 20 million dollars. Sentry Tournament of Champions will grow from $8.2M to $15M, Players Championship will have $25M and FedEx St. Jude Invitational and BMW Championship – $20 million.
“One of the things we’ve been hearing over the past few months from our sponsors is, ‘Please tell us how we can help,’” Monahan said. “So the changes we’re making, which will be roughly $45 million in additional wallet, come from a combination of sponsorship input, ways to keep selling more within these events themselves, and our reserves.”
No free lunch on the PGA Tour
Ian Poulter speaks with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan during a pro appearance ahead of the 2022 Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo: Chris Greiten/Getty Images)
The LIV Golf Series hires players to participate in its events and then pays them more based on their performance and the performance of the team they play that week. However, PGA Tour players earn their money based on how they finish that week’s tournament.
There have been rumors over the past few weeks that golfers who make it to the PGA Tour should be paid a certain amount at the start of the season to pay for things like travel and tuition. When asked about the topic, Monahan didn’t say it was off the table, but he didn’t say it would be any time soon either.
“The backbone of this tour, the meritocracy of the PGA Tour, how hard it is to get here, how hard it is to get to the top level of the game, that will eventually become an attribute,” Monahan. said. “Ultimately, this will be the element that makes this tour the greatest tour in the world.”
There is no turning back for players joining the LIV series
Brooks Koepka watches the second round of the 2022 US Open in Brooklyn, Massachusetts. (Photo: John David Mercer, USA TODAY Sports)
On June 9, Monahan sent a letter to all PGA Tour participants, announcing that he had suspended 17 participants who played in the LIV Series tournament in London, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia. This disqualified them from participating in any PGA Tour sanctioned events.
As he spoke, LIV Golf revealed on social media that Brooks Koepka had joined the organization, confirming rumors and reports that began circulating on Tuesday.
“On June 9th, I laid out our position on the players who signed up for this first event, virtually all of whom have made a long-term commitment to play in the series,” Monahan said when asked if he sees a path for LIV Golf. participants return to the PGA Tour. “So one tournament has been played, there are more to come and I think our position there has worked out very well as it concerns any players who are going to play in future tournaments.”
Simply put, golfers who leave the PGA Tour and play in the LIV Series have no turning back.