Eno matter how one judges the LIV Golf, financed with billions by Saudi Arabia. One thing cannot be denied: The PGA Tour is doing everything it can to prevent further moves to this competitive league. Although LIV has already announced that it will no longer sign new players with bonuses worth millions this year, Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA Tour, wrote to the members of this traditional series about further changes for the 2024 calendar year, the so-called “Designated event model”.
In these tournaments with 70 to 80 participants there will be very high prize money – the exact amount is not yet known – and above all there will be no cut. LIV Golf responded to the announcement on Twitter with derision: “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Congratulations PGA Tour. Welcome to the future.” Whether these new tournaments really represent a copy of the “Saudi League” is doubtful. Because at LIV Golf only 48 invited players are allowed to play and they only have to play 54, not 72 holes, which is common in almost all tournament series and the four majors.
Additionally, the PGA Tour will not limit these new Designated Events to the Stars only. Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy , who was involved in the changes as director of the players’ advisory board, said at his press conference at the start of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando Florida on Wednesday: “There is an opportunity to play your way into these tournaments. It’s about the top guys playing against the ‘hot’ players. If you play well for two or three weeks, you’re in a designated event. That creates a convincing product.”
US No. 8 Max Homa, one of the members of the Players’ Advisory Council, was quite frank about what the PGA Tour 2024 is obviously about: “I think you can just see the change as a way to put more money in the pockets of the top players. But it was also made to make it easier and more fun.” But whether that resonates with the PGA Tour rank and file is another question, because they have fewer starting options.
Also next year, the Player Impact Program (PIP), which rewards players for promoting the PGA Tour, will be cut by half across the board: the payout to $50 million and the Number of rewarded players to ten. Last year, Tiger Woods led this list with $15 million (around 14 million euros) and McIlory with $12 million (around 11 million euros).
Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung