Just What Has The PGA Tour Done?
THE PGA Tour has announced that its designated tournaments in 2024 will consist of smaller fields - and will have no cut.
Given the derision aimed at LIV Golf, it seems like a pretty strange decision to cut fields to between 70 and 78 players. At least they haven’t reduced the tournaments to 54 holes. But you can be absolutely certain that Greg Norman and Co will be milking this for all it is worth. Imitation is the best form of flattery and all that.
Part of the excitement of 72-hole events is the battle to make the cut, the pressure on a golfer’s shoulders to hole a crucial putt to make it to the weekend.
The problem with removing that element is that players who are out of form will end up finishing the week 20 or 30 shots behind the winner.
Over the years there have been some sensational comebacks from golfers who have barely scraped into the weekend.
Designated events were launched this year in an effort to guarantee the presence of the game’s top stars and to ensure they are paid more, with minimum purses of $20 million in each event. Due to the haste with which the designated events came about - a direct response to the threat posed by LIV Golf - no changes were made to field sizes for 2023.
You can be certain that reducing field sizes is sure to cause concern among rank-and-file members.
(PGA Tour Chief - Jay Monahan, Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)
But Rory McIlroy defended the decision. He said: “The only reason no-cut events are a big deal is because LIV has come along but there is precedent for no-cut events.
“There’s been no-cut events since I’ve been a member of the tour and way beyond that as well.
“Is there going to be a few more of them? Maybe. That’s not been decided yet. But if we do go down that path there’s precedent there to argue for no-cut events.
“It keeps the stars there for four days. You ask Mastercard or whoever it is to pay $20m dollars for a golf event, they want to see the stars at the weekend. They want a guarantee that the stars are there. So if that’s what needs to happen, then that’s what happens.”
Fields at designated events will comprise the top 50 players who qualify for the BMW Championship during the previous season’s FedEx Cup playoffs, plus the top 10 players not otherwise eligible on the current FedExCup points race. There will also be five places earned through performance in non-designated events.
Other qualification criteria will include the world rankings, most likely with a focus on the top 30 to accommodate a top player who may be returning from injury and otherwise ineligible for designated events. Sponsor exemptions will also remain - this means that a sponsor will be able to invite the likes of Tiger Woods to play.
So, what do you think of these expected changes - will they deliver greater drama and excitement, or should it be considered a step in the wrong direction?
What Do Golf Fans REALLY Think About LIV Golf
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