The PGA Tour is planning changes to its 2023 schedule that will include eight limited-field, no-cut tournaments with purses of $20 million or more for the top-50 on the previous season’s FedEx Cup standings, according to a Golf Digest report published on Tuesday.
According to multiple players interviewed by Golf Digest after a mandatory player’s meeting at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., the site of this week’s Traveler’s Championship, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told the assembly that the events will be spread out over the season — which also will return to a calendar year format after the Tour went to a wraparound FedEx Cup schedule in 2013 that carried over to the next season.
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Monahan is scheduled to hold a news conference at River Highlands on Wednesday at 1 pm
Golf Digest reported that players outside the top-50 will still have a series of Fall events that will give them a chance to retain their Tour cards or improve their status for the next season. It was unclear how that will affect current Fall events, such as the RSM Classic at the Sea Island Club in St. Simons Island, Ga., and tournaments in Houston, Las Vegas, Napa, Calif., and Jackson, Miss.
The eight-event series is similar to LIV Golf, the breakaway tour that began two weeks ago and is financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, with the exception that the Tour’s events will be 72 holes, while LIV Golf is 54 holes.
The Associated Press reported additional details of the planned events and other changes to the Tour’s season-long FedEx Cup:
• Only the top-70 players on the points list will be eligible for the FedEx playoffs, cutting the current number from 125.
• The top 50 on the points list after the first event will move on, and the top-30 after that will qualify for the Tour Championship.
• The fall would be used for players beyond 70th to secure cards for the following year, although research showed most inside the top 100 would be safe.
• The Tour was still looking at three fall events for limited fields, along with the eight proposed tournaments during the regular season.
Nearly two dozen PGA Tour players either competed in the first LIV Golf event in London (such as Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Dustin Johnson and Charl Schwartzel, who won the first tournament) or have since announced their intention to play (Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer and Rickie Fowler, with reports that Brooks Kopeka’s announcement to play LIV Golf will come any day.
LIV Golf, whose CEO is Greg Norman, will play eight 54-hole tournaments this year with purses of $25 million. Schwartzel won more than $4 million, the largest haul in professional golf history.
According to the Golf Digest sources, Monahan spoke for 30 minutes and told players that the Tour was “under attack.” He also urged them to stay united and reminded them of the Tour’s long-standing corporate partners, many of whom also are associated with players.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.