PGA Tour Announces Major Changes to Designated Events Starting 2024
The PGA Tour announced dramatic changes to its designated events beginning in 2024. Starting next year, fields at designated events will be comprised of 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 FedEx Cup points race. Five additional places will be earned through performance in non-designated events. Fields will be reduced to between 70 and 78 players with no halfway cut, but the changes will not apply to all of the elevated events— the majors, the Players Championship, and the FedEx Cup playoff tournaments.
Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a memo that these smaller, designated event fields will “deliver substantial, can’t-miss tournaments to our fans at important intervals throughout the season,” and “enhance the quality of Full-Field events.”
Rory McIlroy, a player director on the Tour’s policy board and one of the architects of the new system, spoke positively of the changes, saying, “It’s trying to get the top guys versus the hot guys, right? I think that creates a really compelling product. But in a way that you don't have to wait an entire year for your good play to then get the opportunity. That opportunity presents itself straight away. You play well for two or three weeks, you're in a designated event. You know then if you keep playing well you stay in them.”
Qualification criteria will include consideration of the Official World Golf Ranking, most likely with a focus on the top 30. Sponsor exemptions will also remain in use, though with more defined parameters on who is eligible to receive one, leaving the door open for 15-time Major winner Tiger Woods to participate.
Scottie Scheffler also spoke positively of the changes, saying, “I think it's exciting because you're going to have the top guys in the world playing against each other more often. You're going to be able to guarantee the sponsors that those guys are going to be there four days. If you're coming out to an event to watch on Saturday and Sunday and, you know, if I'm imagining myself as a kid, I would like to get out there early.
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1. “PGA Tour moves to reduce fields, eliminate cuts at designated events beginning in 2024 season” CBS Sports, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.cbssports.com/golf/news/pga-tour-moves-to-reduce-fields-eliminate-cuts-at-designated-events-beginning-in-2024-season
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