PGA Tour Unveils Major Changes to Designated Events for 2024
The PGA Tour has announced major changes to its schedule of “designated events” beginning in 2024. These changes include reducing the fields in these events to between 70 and 78 players with no halfway cut, with the exception of the majors, The Players Championship, and the FedEx Cup playoff tournaments. The Tour has also implemented eligibility parameters that focus on the upper portions of the FedEx Cup points list and the world rankings.
Called out for imitation by LIV Golf, the Tour’s changes have been met with ridicule by some of its players. Rory McIlroy, a player director on the Tour’s policy board and one of the architects of the new system, defended the changes, saying: “It's trying to get the top guys versus the hot guys, right? I think that creates a really compelling product. 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.”
The Tour has also proposed shortening the amateur portion of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am to 36 holes, played over two courses. Tour executives ran multiple data simulations of how a season would play out to ensure sufficient churn in the system, and the structure ratified by the board projects that only 60% of those eligible for designated events will remain so for the following season.
Jordan Spieth, who opened the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a four-under-par 68, is confident in the future of the PGA Tour following the changes, saying: “I think we’ve found a pretty good balance right now in holding on to that history of it but also making modern adjustments that, in my opinion, reward appropriately to the guys who beat the best in the world week-in and week-out.
0. “Rory McIlroy, Max Homa among top PGA players in favor of tour changes” The Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2023/03/01/rory-mcilroy-pga-tour-changes
1. “Why the New PGA Tour Schedule Inspired This “Rant”” InsideHook, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.insidehook.com/daily_brief/sports/max-homa-rant-new-pga-tour-schedule
2. “PGA Tour and LIV Golf players conflict over schedule changes” National Club Golfer, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.nationalclubgolfer.com/news/pga-tour-liv-golf-stars-conflict-new-schedule/
3. “Sources: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to become designated event, celebs/amateurs out for the weekend” Golfweek, 2 Mar. 2023, https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2023/03/02/pga-tour-att-pebble-beach-pro-am-designated-event-pro-am-changing/
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