Money talks, bulls— walks.
Commissioner Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour have experienced the meaning of this quote firsthand recently. Numerous notable golfers – including Brooks Koepka just this morning – leaving for LIV Golf. Monahan has tried to reel in his members with statements and speeches, but those tactics were not effective enough to keep some of them around.
This morning, Monahan gathered players at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut for a mandatory meeting prior to the tournament. He told them that wholesale changes were coming to the PGA Tour for 2023 – changes that will have more money up for grabs.
Starting in fall 2023, the top 50 finishers in the FedEx Cup will be eligible to play in eight events. These tournaments will have no cut and include a $20 million total purse for each one. Meanwhile, PGA Tour players who fell outside of the top 50 will play in an alternate series of events where they will look to qualify for the following season.
The meeting reportedly lasted around 90 minutes. Monahan led with a 30-minute speech and then fielded questions. He said the PGA Tour is “under attack,” but reiterated that it is “strong when we are united.” Monahan also injected confidence that a bevy of corporate partners is still on board.
“[Monahan] seemed like he’s on a mission,” one player who attended the meeting told the Golf Channel.
PGA Tour Responds to LIV Golf
This is undoubtedly a reaction to LIV Golf’s no-cut events that have a total purse of $25 million. However, the main difference is that PGA Tour players would essentially still have to “qualify” by being in the top 50 of FedEx points distributed throughout the season.
Monahan’s plan differs slightly from LIV Golf’s setup in a way that appeals to players like Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. Those two and others have stated their allegiance to staying on the PGA Tour because “legacy” is more important to them than a quick cash grab.
Although most may think fall 2023 is too far away, this is a shrewd move by Monahan and the PGA Tour. Putting these $50 million tournaments more than a year away will force players to stay loyal – and patient – before seeing the monetary benefits.
I think this announcement may stop the bleeding of defectors for a while. Whatever does end up happening, it is about time Monahan stopped talking and started doing.