After months of playing defense against LIV Golf’s advances into professional golf, the PGA Tour punched back on Wednesday when commissioner Jay Monahan unveiled an enhanced schedule starting next year.
The highlight of the announcement, which was sent to players in a memo prior to the commissioner's press conference at the Travelers Championship, will be significant purse increases to eight events, including the Sentry Tournament of Champions ($15 million), Genesis Invitational ($20 million), Arnold Palmer Invitational ($20 million), Players Championship ($25 million), Dell Technologies WGC-Match Play, Memorial ($20 million), FedEx St. Jude Championship ($20 million) and BMW Championship ($20 million).
All total, that’s a $54 million increase in purses among those events.
“These increases will be funded by sponsor support and supplemented in the short term by the operating reserve,” Monahan said in the memo. “Please note these amendments to the Resource Allocation Plan do not affect previously announced prize money increases at other events.”
The announcement was a direct response to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf schedule, which began earlier this month in London and features eight events with $20 million individual purses with another $5 million for teams in each tournament.
In the memo to players, Monahan also outlined a new three-event series in the fall for the top players with similarly sized purses. The fall events would be held internationally (Europe, Asia and the Middle East) and will feature some sort of team aspect.
Those events, which will be open to the top 50 players from the previous season’s points list, are expected to be added to the Tour schedule in 2024 and the format is still being considered.
Additionally, the memo outlined a significant adjustment to how players maintain their Tour status. The new schedule, which will transition to a calendar year, will feature three post-season events with the top 70 players qualifying for the first tournament (FedEx St. Jude Championship). The top 50 will advance to the second playoff event (BMW Championship) with the top 30 earning a spot at the season finale at East Lake.
Currently, the top 125 from the regular season points list qualify for the playoffs and maintain their status for the next season. Beginning in '24, the top 70 ahead of the playoffs will keep their cards. The fall events will provide those outside the top 70 with a chance to add FedExCup points and end the year inside the top 125, which will ensure status for the following season.
The fall will be open to all players, including those who qualify for the playoffs. Those who finished the playoffs outside the top 50 will be able to compete for spots in the international series, in addition to those who will battle for their cards.