Comissioner Jay Monahan announced wholesale changes to the PGA Tour’s structure, schedule and FedEx Cup in a press conference at the Travelers Championship on Wednesday.
Monahan outlined what had been communicated to players in a letter obtained by Golf Digest: that the PGA Tour would return to a calendar-year schedule beginning 2024, that the FedEx Cup playoffs will be reduced from 125 players to 70, raise purse significantly for eight events, and introduce three international events in the fall for the top 50 in the prior season’s FedEx Cup standings.
The moves are widely seen as a response to LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed upstart tour attempting to lure stars away from the PGA Tour with huge guaranteed-money contracts.
“We have been on a path for a number of years to strengthen and evolve the PGA Tour, for the benefit of our players and fans alike,” Monahan said in the letter.
At the press conference, Monahan acknowledged that the PGA Tour cannot keep up in a battle of pure resources and reiterated the the PGA Tour’s commitment to its core values of legacy, history and meritocracy. Still, he did share some significant news that will put more money in the pockets of the tour’s top players.
The eight tournaments receiving a purse increase beginning in 2023 are: the Sentry Tournament of Champions ($15 million up from $8.2 million in 2022); the Genesis Invitational ($20 million up from $12 million); the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard ($20 million up from $12 million); The Players Championship ($25 million up from $20 million); the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play ($20 million up from $12 million); the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday ($20 million up from $12 million); the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first event of the FedEx Cup playoffs ($20 million, up from $15 million); and the BMW Championship, the second event of the FedEx Cup playoffs ($20 million, up from $15 million).
The new FedEx Cup season will run from January through August. Only the top 70 players will qualify for the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, down from the 125 that have reached the first of three playoff events in recent years. The top 50 will qualify for the BMW Championship, with only the top 30 making the Tour Championship.
The top 50 finishers in the FedEx Cup will qualify for a three-event, no-cut international series to be played in the fall, while the rest of the players will play in domestic fall events to jostle for priority numbers and to preserve their status for the following season.
The purse increases, Monahan said, will be funded by sponsor support and supplemented in the short-term by the Tour’s operating revenue.
Shortly after Monahan began his opening remarks, LIV Golf officially announced the signing of Brooks Koepka, who will make his LIV debut at next week’s event in Portland. Monahan said he was appreciative of Koepka’s contributions to the tour and disappointed to learn of his departure but declined to speak further on the matter.