The PGA Tour has responded – quite a few instances and in quite a lot of methods – to the upstart LIV Golf league. Their newest counter to LIV ripping away a handful of stars and multi-time main winners is a reported plan so as to add a big-money fall schedule to the annual calendar with particular person purses of roughly $ 20 million put up for grabs among the many prime 50 gamers from the earlier season.
In response to Golfweek, the PGA Tour will possible overlay presently scheduled occasions with three tournaments in that may pay out $ 60 million throughout the autumn. They’ll function the 50 golfers who qualify for the BMW Championship, the second of three FedEx Cup Playoff occasions, and be unfold throughout Asia, Europe and the Center East.
One other proposed change is that solely 70 golfers (down from 125) would qualify for the primary FedEx Cup Playoff occasion, the St. Jude Championship. Solely these 70 could be assured PGA Tour playing cards for the next season, which is able to transfer again to being held over a calendar yr starting in January 2024.
Moreover, the purses of eight completely different occasions have already been elevated, a lot of them practically doubled, with the most important particular person purse in golf now belonging to The Gamers Championship, which was bumped from $ 20 million to $ 25 million.
The addition of three occasions would create tournaments which are successfully the identical because the World Golf Championship occasions, which have been constructed 20 years in the past. There could be harder to get into as a result of they’re restricted to the highest 50 gamers from the earlier season, however the impact is similar. It is a direct financial rebuttal to LIV Golf, which is planning double-digit $ 25 million tournaments subsequent yr ($ 20 million to people, $ 5 million to groups).
What’s fascinating is how a lot cash is being bandied about right here. The one occasion on the PGA Tour that’s presently equal to this purse dimension is the Gamers Championship, which distributes $ 20 million. The largest present main championship purse is the US Open, which simply pumped its quantity to $ 17.5 million at Brookline.
The opposite fascinating half to this improvement is what participant response shall be. A part of the attract of LIV Golf is that golfers can play fewer occasions for extra assured cash within the type of contracts. It doesn’t matter the place Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau end at LIV Golf occasions as a result of they receives a commission both manner. This transfer by the PGA Tour would doubtlessly see stars play extra tournaments than they already play for no contractually assured cash in any respect.
It’s clear that golfers do need assured cash, as Patrick Cantlay said on Tuesday on the Vacationers Championship.
“I undoubtedly assume that could possibly be helpful,” Cantlay mentioned. “I believe proper now there is a competitors for expertise that is happening and I believe you see it in all kinds of different companies. You’ve got seen it in different skilled sports activities every now and then. A part of the priority will not be figuring out what the longer term goes to be like. Proper now it is an unsure time for golf, but when you concentrate on it within the bigger enterprise panorama it is a competitors for expertise. So if the PGA Tour desires to stay the preeminent tour for skilled golfers, it must be the very best place to play for the very best gamers on this planet. ”
These further occasions, although, are maybe not even one thing the highest gamers have been asking for.
“I believe there’s sufficient packages in place that profit the highest gamers proper now, PIP program, the Comcast Prime-10, the FedExCup bonus, all of these issues are designed to funnel more cash into the highest gamers’ pockets,” mentioned Rory McIlroy on the Wells Fargo Championship final month. “You play the very best, and the cream ought to rise to the highest by the top of the yr. That is why Comcast Prime-10, FedExCup bonus cash is so excessive. And then you definately add the PIP in there for the people who make the most important impression on the Tour. “
Now, prime gamers may need so as to add to their schedules to construct up regular-season wealth. A part of the explanation for that is that the PGA Tour is a 501c (6) group, which suggests it’s tax exempt and thus should get artistic with the way it pays its constituents (ie creating extra occasions for gamers to play as an alternative of guaranteeing contracts) .
This new three-tournament league inside a league introduction is a part of that, and it ought to at the very least assist maintain the very best gamers monetarily (particularly in the event that they bump 5 present purses to $ 20 million as properly), which the PGA Tour believes will possible quell the outflow of gamers to LIV Golf.