Commissioner Jay Monahan didn’t mince his words Wednesday when he discussed the potential threat LIV Golf poses to the PGA TOUR.
“I’m not naive,” Monahan said Reporters at a press conference at the Travelers Championship. “If this is an arms race and the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA TOUR cannot compete… with a foreign monarchy spending billions of dollars to buy the game of golf.”
He added, “It’s an irrational threat that doesn’t care about the game’s ROI or true growth.”
When asked if he underestimated LIV Golf, Monahan said he “took it very seriously from the start”.
Monahan also unveiled a series of changes to the TOUR schedule and the FedEx Cup on Wednesday, plans he says have been “accelerated” due to the emergence of the Saudi-backed series.
That memo Details of the changes were sent to players ahead of the press conference.
Eight current events will see major prize increases for next season, adding more than $50 million in additional prize money.
|Sentry Tournament of Champions||$8.2M||$15M||$6.8M|
|Genesis Invitation||$12M||20 million dollars||$8M|
|Arnold Palmer invitation||$12M||20 million dollars||$8M|
|THE PLAYER Championship||20 million dollars||25 million dollars||$5 million|
|WGC Dell Technologies Matchplay||$12M||20 million dollars||$8M|
|The commemorative tournament||$12M||20 million dollars||$8M|
|FedEx St. Jude Championship||$15M||20 million dollars||$5 million|
|BMW Championship||$15M||20 million dollars||$5 million|
The TOUR will return to a calendar year schedule in 2024. The FedEx Cup season runs from January through August, followed by the fall events, which determine the top 125 golfers and finalize eligibility for the next FedEx Cup season.
Also starting in 2024, the TOUR will begin an international no-cut series with three events in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. This will be played at the end of the fall program and will feature the top 50 players from the final FedEx Cup standings. Details are currently being reviewed and will be announced at a later date.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs will see a revised field size starting in 2023. 70 players will compete in the FedEx St. Jude Championship, 50 will compete in the BMW Championship and 30 will compete in the TOUR Championship.
The top 70 players who qualify for the first FedEx Cup Playoffs event are fully exempt for the following season, including the Invitationals.
The Travelers Championship begins on Thursday while the Open Championship looms. R&A announced on Wednesday that LIV Golf members will be able to compete at St Andrews.