CROMWELL, Conn. – The PGA TOUR will return to a calendar-year schedule in 2024, one of a series of changes announced Wednesday that also includes eight tournaments with greatly enhanced purses, revised field sizes for the FedExCup Playoffs, and a reimagined fall with up to three no -cut, limited-field international events.
Commissioner Jay Monahan announced the changes, made in conjunction with the Policy Board and Player Directors, in a press conference at the Travelers Championship.
He also announced the changes in a letter to the players.
“These changes will further strengthen the FedExCup and create a strong, coordinated global schedule,” Monahan wrote, detailing a condensed FedExCup season that will run from January to August, “offering a more compelling product for our players, fans and partners.”
In broad strokes, the FedExCup Playoffs will feature revised field sizes starting next year. The top 70 will make the first event of the Playoffs, the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis. The top 50 will make the BMW Championship, and the top 30, as usual, will compete for the FedExCup at the TOUR Championship at East Lake.
The 70 players who qualify for the first Playoffs event will be fully exempt for the following season, including invitationals. Anyone outside that cutoff can improve his status in the fall events, at the conclusion of which the top 125 will be fully exempt for the following season.
“While different than it’s been in the past, I think it’s going to be very exciting for fans and I think will create great energy in the fall,” said Monahan, who added that he expects the fall events to be “very consequential, very meaningful.”
Additionally, the TOUR is making room for up to three international, no-cut, limited-field events, taking the top 50 from the final FedExCup, and top performers from the fall. The format and other details of these events are under review by the Player Advisory Council.
Alongside these changes, the Policy Board also amended the Resource Allocation Plan to increase purse sizes at the following eight events in 2023:
Sentry Tournament of Champions – $15 million (up from $8.2M in 2022)
The Genesis Invitational – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)
THE PLAYERS Championship – $25 million (up from $20 million in 2022)
WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)
the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)
FedEx St. Jude Championship – $20 million (up from $15 million in 2022)
BMW Championship – $20 million (up from $15 million in 2022)
“There is more work to be done and details to confirm,” Monahan said in a lengthy press conference at TPC River Highlands, “but implementing substantial changes to our schedule gives us the best opportunity to not only drive earnings to our players, but also improve our product and create a platform for continued growth in the future.”
In his pre-tournament press conference at the Travelers Championship, two-time FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy reflected on the impact that the PGA TOUR has on the communities it plays in while also reflecting on the organization’s future.
“I think it’s not lost on me what PGA TOUR events … can do for the communities that they’re played in,” he said. “I think that’s not lost on the players that when they come and play PGA TOUR events they’re helping to do something really good in the community … and I think that’s important.”
As one of four player directors on the PGA TOUR Policy Board, McIlroy spent five hours in a board meeting Monday where the changes to the schedule were discussed.
McIlroy said the elevated events are “important for the future of the TOUR” without minimizing other events on the schedule.
“You’re going to have tournaments that guys love to play and they’re going to come back and keep playing them,” said McIlroy, who’s competing for the fourth week in a row.
The top three players in the FedExCup – Scottie Scheffler, Sam Burns and McIlroy — and six of the top 15 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are set to tee it up at the Travelers, where Harris English is the defending champion.
“On the PGA TOUR, our members compete for the opportunity to add their names to history books, and, yes, significant financial benefits, without having to wrestle with any sort of moral ambiguity,” Monahan said. “And pure competition creates relevance and context, which is what fans need and expect in order to invest their time in a sport and in a player.
“That’s the beauty of the PGA TOUR,” he added. “We have and always will provide a global platform for members to compete against the very best, earn their stardom, and become household names.”