The PGA Tour has been under attack following the development of LIV Golf. On Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan punched back. Holding a press conference ahead of the final event of the season, the 2022 Tour Championship, Monahan applauded the actions of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy for leading a players-only meeting the week of the BMW Championship and announced drastic changes to the future of the tour as a byproduct of this gathering from the tour's top players.
"I know there's a lot of curiosity and speculation as to what was discussed and what was decided [at the players-only meeting], but ... I think it's important to understand that this process represents a remarkable moment for the PGA Tour and showcases the essence of what being a membership organization is all about," Monahan said in a statement.
"With the best interests of the collective in mind, those players rallied together to strengthen the Tour platform, recognizing that if fans are going to invest in the PGA Tour, it means a hell of a lot more if they know the players are investing right back. I am inspired by our great players, every one of our players, who epitomizes the perpetual values and competitive fabric of our sport."
Monahan touched on numerous modifications, including an increase in elevated events on schedule, the implementation of a league minimum for PGA Tour members and an adjustment to the Player Impact Program (PIP).
Future changes to schedule, compensation
- Top players will commit to at least 20 PGA Tour events: The biggest names in the game will all be gathered at the same tournaments on a more regular basis. Those tournaments will include the eight elevated events as previously designated, four additional elevated events with purses of at least $20 million (to be announced), The Players Championship, the four major championships and three other FedEx Cup events of players' choosing.
- The PIP will be expanded: The PIP has been increased from the top 10 players to the top 20 for 2022 and 2023. Not only has the player pool expanded, so has the prize pool, which will now total $100 million, double the $50 million previously announced. It is from these top 20 lists that "top players" will be defined.
- PIP criteria will change in 2023: Consideration of social media impact will be removed -- sorry Max Homa. Instead, the PIP will be based on internet searches, general awareness, golf fan awareness, media mentions and broadcast exposure.
- An "Earnings Assurance Program" will launch: This exciting development affects not only the top players but also those battling for PGA Tour cards on an annual basis. This is for fully exempt members -- Korn Ferry Tour category and above -- and will guarantee a league minimum of $500,000. Rookies and returning tour members will receive this money up front and must play in 15 events in order to collect.
- Travel Stipend Program will launch: This will affect those non-exempt members (Nos. 126-150). Players will receive $5,000 for every missed cut to cover all travel expenses, including airfare an d accommodations. This will subsidize these expenses and not impact tournament purses.
- Modifications will be made to Life Membership: No longer will 15 seasons of membership be necessary. Once a player reaches 20 wins, he will be eligible for Life Membership.
- Tour Championship participants will earn a two-season PGA Tour exemption: Starting this season, if a player qualifies for the Tour Championship, he will be exempt on the PGA Tour for the next two seasons. This is not in addition to a winner's exemption, but it does impact a player who may not have any additional status in the second year after qualifying for the Tour Championship.
- Qualifications will be in place for Tournament of Champions: Announced Tuesday, all golfers who finish inside the top 30 in the FedEx Cup and qualify for the Tour Championship will be invited to the Tournament of Champions where 550 FedEx Cup points -- matching that of the Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial and WGC-Match Play -- will be awarded to the winner.