The PGA Tour is making major changes to its schedule and how several of its events are played as LIV Golf’s second season gets underway.
The PGA Tour ratified a motion Tuesday that reduces fields for eight designated events in 2024 to between 70 and 80 golfers with no 36-hole cuts.
The tour has not announced which events will be affected, but the majors, the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Players Championship will not be included in the changes.
“Over the last year, we have spent a massive amount of time exploring how to better position the PGA Tour for continued growth,” PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan wrote in a memo. “How to innovate and deliver a better product. How to further showcase our top performers, while staying true to the meritocracy and legacy that define the tour. How to create a season of consequence that deepens and expands fan interest. How to make every tournament better and deliver more value to sponsors, media partners and host organizations — to the benefit of the entire membership.”
Monahan says the tour will “focus on ensuring purse size, elimination of a cut and FedEx Cup points distribution to sufficiently incentivize top performers to participate in the designated events.”
The changes “will reward top performers, provide ample opportunity for play-in from season-long performance and different intervals throughout the season, retain an emphasis on winning and be simple for the fan to understand,” Monahan added.
Rory McIlroy, perhaps the most vocal PGA voice against LIV, approves of the changes.
“At the end of the day, I think with all these designated events and this event schedule, at the end of the day, we’re selling a product to people,” he said at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Wednesday. “The more clarity they have on that product and knowing what they’re buying is really important. It’s really important for the tour. I think this solves .. that.”
“The product is important,” Max Homa told reporters. “I think it’s easy to frame these changes as a way to put more money in the top players’ pockets. But it has been made to make it easier and more fun for the fans. I know it’s low-hanging fruit to jump on, ‘Oh, this is just a money grab.’
“It is a guarantee on who will be at events, more or less, and leaning more on the ‘more’ there. It is more opportunity for the top players to battle it out late on Sundays. Which, you look back at times of Phil [Mickelson] and Tiger [Woods], the two best players growing up for me watching, and they had, like, maybe two real battles. So we’re going to have more of that. We just had Scottie [Scheffler] and Jon [Rahm] battle it out in Phoenix, and that was awesome. Two of the three best players in the world going at it, so I think that’s great.”
“I think it’s exciting because you’re going to have the top guys in the world playing against each other more often,” Scheffler added. “You’re going to be able to guarantee the sponsors that those guys are going to be there four days. If you’re coming out to an event to watch on Saturday and Sunday and, you know, if I’m imagining myself as a kid, I would like to get out there early.”
LIV Golf was quick to react to the PGA Tour’s changes.
“Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Congratulations PGA Tour. Welcome to the future,” the league tweeted.