Top Ad
I DIG Radio
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...

Cut Line: A few devils in the details of the PGA Tour's tournament restructure

Written by 
Published in Golf
Friday, 03 March 2023 07:16

ORLANDO, Fla. – In this week’s edition of Cut Line, we dissect the good, the bad and the unknown about the PGA Tour’s overhauled schedule.

Made Cut

The goods. The Tour’s grand plan of designated events doesn’t work if the stars don’t deliver and, at least through 3 ½ events, the leaderboard has been the ultimate proof of concept.

At the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the first designated event, Jon Rahm outdueled Collin Morikawa in primetime. A month later, it was Scottie Scheffler who emerged from the star-studded pack at the WM Phoenix Open, followed by Rahm and Justin Thomas. And at the Genesis Invitational, Rahm again won with Max Homa and Patrick Cantlay just off the pace. Through two rounds at Bay Hill this week, it’s Xander Schauffele and Cam Young carrying the flag.

Each of those players finished inside the top 20 on last year’s Player Impact Program and were incentivized to play the elevated events with the hope that if the Tour was able to bring the top players together more often, the product would improve.

There are plenty of reasons to question the path the Tour has plotted into a new designated world, but the basic tenet of “build it and they will come” appears solid.

The PGA Tour unveiled the basic concepts behind what the circuit is calling the “Designated Event Model” in a memo sent to players.

A breakthrough. Chris Kirk’s victory Sunday over Eric Cole at the Honda Classic ended a title drought that had stretched 179 starts and an inspired battle with alcoholism. 

But it was the way he celebrated that was truly inspired.

After a two-hour “nap” Sunday, he was back on the tee at 7:25 a.m. Monday at the Seminole Member-Pro, a bucket-list item for most professional golfers, before making the trip to central Florida for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he doubled down on the good life to watch his friend and Tampa Rays utilityman Charlie Culberson prepare for spring training at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports.

Before locking back into his day job at Bay Hill, Kirk capped the week with a casual round at nearby Isleworth Country Club. “Had a blast. I think Charlie hit about five or six houses out there. So sorry, it was him, not me,” Kirk smiled.

There were countless perks that came with his victory on Sunday at PGA National, but it was the smile that seemed priceless.

Chris Kirk waited nearly eight years to win a PGA Tour event again. Waiting one more hole on Sunday was no problem.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Designations. The Tour unveiled the basic concepts of next year’s schedule on Wednesday to mixed reactions and it’s best to analyze the two-page memo by bullet point.

The idea of bigger events with the best players (as noted above) has been widely accepted. The inner workings of such a schedule, however, has left some questioning the future of the Tour. Of particular concern are the eight designated events beyond the majors, Players Championship and FedExCup playoffs and how limited fields (70 to 80 players) will impact playing opportunities.

If all eight fields are reduced – which doesn’t seem likely considering that the Sentry Tournament of Champions, a designated event in 2023, will have a bigger field going forward based on the new qualification criteria – it would add up to roughly 414 lost playing opportunities which is a problem, but it’s not the problem.

The last 96 hours have shown how non-designated and designated events can play well together.

Tweet(s) of the week: There were no shortage of opinions across golf Twitter this week following Wednesday’s memo outlining the changes the Tour plans to implement next year, so we offer a sampling:

Missed Cut

Details. While the headlines and hyperbole focused on the Tour’s move to limited fields for the designated events, many observers instead turned their attention to a line deeper into Wednesday’s memo.

“The FedExCup points model will be adjusted, with allocation of additional points to The Players, majors and designated events. Details will be shared with the membership in the coming weeks,” the memo read.

This is important to note because there is a concern that without knowing exactly how many more points the elevated events will be awarding, it’s easy to envision a world where the gulf between the stars and the rank-and-file is so wide, as to make an uneven playing field.

Players like Rory McIlroy will benefit greatly from the Tour's designated-events plan. But not everyone was pleased Wednesday at Bay Hill.

Consider that a player could finish 50th on the final FedExCup points list, which is the cutoff to qualify for the following season’s designated events, and play a vastly different schedule than the player who finished 51st, who would be qualified for just one of the designated events (The Players) depending on their world ranking.

“Play better” has always been the cliché for those looking to break through the grass ceiling, but a new landscape that offers precious few options for advancement and a system that so heavily favors the incumbent would leave that trope hollow.

Read 20 times


Ancelotti remains Brazil's No. 1 option - president

Ancelotti remains Brazil's No. 1 option - president

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti remains Brazil's first choice to replace Tite, the country's footb...

Liverpool hire new director to oversee rebuild

Liverpool hire new director to oversee rebuild

Liverpool have appointed Jorg Schmadtke as the club's new sporting director, the Premier League side...

Sources: Juve lead race to sign USMNT's Pulisic

Sources: Juve lead race to sign USMNT's Pulisic

Juventus are leading the race to sign Christian Pulisic, sources told ESPN, with Chelsea prepared to...


Tatum injured on first play: Was 'a shell of myself'

Tatum injured on first play: Was 'a shell of myself'

BOSTON -- As Jayson Tatum trudged to the podium inside TD Garden long after the Boston Celtics saw t...

Nuggets open as -360 favorites vs. Heat in Finals

Nuggets open as -360 favorites vs. Heat in Finals

The Denver Nuggets, who will be making their first appearance in the NBA Finals, were installed as -...


Nevada lawmakers consider A's stadium financing

Nevada lawmakers consider A's stadium financing

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Nevada lawmakers questioned whether a proposal to subsidize a new MLB stadium w...

Braves' Soroka goes 6 IP in return from Achilles

Braves' Soroka goes 6 IP in return from Achilles

OAKLAND, Calif. -- During the dark days of his long rehabilitation while recovering from two separat...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation
  • NFL

    Nactional Football Leagues
  • FISB

    Federation Internationale de Speedball

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.r


Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (800) 825 5558
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.