ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO - JUNE 12: Tony Finau of the United States reacts after making birdie on the 18th green during the final round of the RBC Canadian Open at St. George's Golf and Country Club on June 12, 2022 in Etobicoke, Ontario. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Golf

PGA Tour To Increase Purse Size And Diversify In Response To LIV Golf

On the same day that two more US PGA Tour stars, Abraham Ancer and Brooks Koepka are reportedly set to join the LIV Golf Tour for their second event in Portland, Oregon, the US PGA Tour has made some momentous decisions for the future of the tour in a bid to stop the flow of talent leaving.

On Tuesday morning this week, on the eve of the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, PGA Tour Members attended a meeting hosted by US PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan at which he outlined a new vision for the tour moving forward, with the possible changes set to be implemented in time for the 2023 golf season.

While the details are not yet finalized and could still be altered at any point ahead of next season, the sweeping changes promise a very different look and feel for the tour from 2023 onwards.

Proposed Changes To The US PGA Tour For 2023

A considerable number of major changes to the US PGA Tour were discussed at the

“File:Justin Thomas (golfer) after winning the 2017 PGA Championship.png” by PGA of America is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

meeting, and were met with generally favorable responses from the players in attendance according to reports.

Some of the key changes announced include:

  • An increase in the value of total purses at eight of the most prestigious non-Major tournaments (including events such as the Sentry Tournament of Champions, The Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship) on the US PGA Tour to at least $20 million.
  • The creation of a “global golf series” comprising of three as yet undisclosed events which will include a smaller field of competitors, no cuts and a prize pool of at least $25 million per tournament.
  • A change in the schedule for the PGA Tour season, moving from the wraparound schedule at present, to a yearly schedule based on the calendar year.

This final change has long been one longed for by players who have complained that there is no ‘end of season’ period as things stand, as if the players do not play the wraparound events through November and December, then they will start in January well behind in the points race and jeopardize their chances of qualifying for the FedEx Cup or Major tournaments.

Further talks between Monahan and PGA Tour members were believed to be planned for this week, with all changes needing to be ratified by the tour’s players advisory committee and policy board.

Koepka And Ancer Set To Quit

The news of these changes broke on a day when two more stars of the tour were believed

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – MARCH 13: PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks to the media during a practice round for The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 13, 2019 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

to be on the brink of quitting to join the LIV Golf Tour at its next event in Portland, Oregon in a weeks’ time.

Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka are the latest players linked with a move to the breakaway tour, while Collin Morikawa was another name also linked, although he later moved to claim those statements were false in a social media post later in the day.

Koepka’s younger brother, Chase, played in the first LIV Golf Tour event so Brooks’ move is not unexpected.

However, Ancer and Koepka are the latest in a long line of former US PGA Tour stars to have made the switch with Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Talor Gooch, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed amongst the others confirming their switch.

Money Money Money

On the one hand, the PGA Tour had to do something to stop the flow of talent leaving their

AL MUROOJ, SAUDI ARABIA – FEBRUARY 02: Phil Mickelson of USA and Greg Norman, CEO of Liv Golf Investments interact during a practice round prior to the PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on February 02, 2022 in Al Murooj, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Luke Walker/WME IMG/WME IMG via Getty Images)

tour for the LIV Golf Tour.

It won’t take too many more star names to make the move before key sponsors start to become a little twitchy that their big investment in these tournaments won’t attract the best players.

Yet it is somewhat two-faced to complain that players are sick about hearing only about “money, money, money’ on the LIV Golf Tour, and then the PGA Tour response is to rapidly increase the prize money available in a bunch of tournaments and then copy some of the key ideas of the LIV Golf Tour for its proposed global series.

There’s still been no announcement on Image and Media Rights, another key issue for many PGA Tour players and those that left to join LIV Golf.

With the four Majors in golf now played from April through to July, there is space in the calendar for a Global Series, perhaps in the summer months, or possibly even in the November, allowing golfers the chance to at least have December off.

However, the PGA Tour is going to have to do far more to stave off the LIV Golf threat as if it comes down to a battle between who has the biggest bank account, there will only be one winner.

And it won’t be the PGA Tour.

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