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PGA Tour shakeup, LIV departures, Rory McIlroy

PGA Tour shakeup, LIV departures, Rory McIlroy

Rory Mcilroy on Sunday on the fifteenth inexperienced at East Lake Golf Membership.

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Examine in each week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the most well liked subjects within the sport, and be part of the dialog by tweeting us @golf_com. This week, we talk about the modifications to the PGA Tour’s schedule and cash, LIV departures, Rory McIlroy’s win and extra. 

1. In a recurring development, many of the information this week got here earlier than play. And the largest was the a number of modifications to the PGA Tour’s schedule and cash as a part of the Tour’s combat towards LIV Golf. Among the many gadgets, introduced Wednesday by Tour commissioner Jay Monahan forward of the Tour Championship, had been: 20 gamers shall be outlined as “high gamers” beginning subsequent 12 months; the machine through which the Tour defines these gamers, the Participant Impression Program, will obtain a handbag bump, from $50 million to $100 million, to reward these gamers; 4 extra tournaments, along with eight introduced in June, shall be tabbed as “elevated occasions” with $20 million purses; the 20 gamers will play in these occasions, the Gamers Championship, the majors and three different tournaments; all totally exempt gamers will begin the season with a $500,000 stipend; and gamers will obtain a $5,000 journey stipend.

We’ll begin with this: Will these strikes work within the Tour’s combat towards LIV Golf?

Rory McIlroy addressed the media ahead of the Tour Championship.

The PGA Tour simply made big-time structural modifications. Listed below are the ten greatest


Dylan Dethier

Josh Sens, senior author (@joshsens): They appear like efficient strikes in conserving younger American expertise round. The upshot appears like each side are extra solidified of their positions. LIV isn’t going anyplace. However the Tour has shored up essential core help. 

Jack Hirsh, assistant editor (@JR_HIRSHey): Gamers are selecting between cash and legacy, it looks like. LIV has a seemingly limitless provide of cash. The Tour, alternatively, has historical past, and if it could actually make the {dollars} not less than inside shouting distance of LIV, I don’t see many gamers choosing them over the Tour. In spite of everything, what does $25 million get you that $20 million doesn’t? The league minimal additionally helps care for the journeymen execs who assist make up numerous what the dream of taking part in on the PGA Tour is. 

Alan Bastable, government editor (@alan_bastable): You already know when this plan would have been actually efficient? A 12 months in the past. This new mannequin has many cool components and enticements — and it appears to have helped sway not less than one rising star, in Cameron Younger, to remain put — but it surely’s nonetheless too little too late. Too many ships have already sailed, creating two diluted golf leagues, considered one of which you’ll be able to solely watch on YouTube. Sure, we’ll see a number of the greatest gamers on this planet get collectively usually on the elevated PGA Tour occasions however not all of them. That’ll occur solely 4 occasions a 12 months now, on the majors. It’s an actual bummer. The highest gamers on each excursions are all getting richer, however golf followers shall be poorer for it.

2. What change are you most enthusiastic about? What change might have some work?

Sens: The $500k stipend. A whole lot of guys are expendable and simply can’t reduce it. However you’ve bought to do one thing to maintain the farm groups alive. The change I’d nonetheless wish to see is a larger dedication to chill venues. Nice designs go a great distance towards creating fascinating golf. 

Hirsh: I agree with Josh right here, however I’ll change it as much as deliver up one other subject. I’m very enthusiastic about how the “elevated occasions” will rotate from season to season. Will we see an elevated John Deere Basic in 2027? You’d suppose each sponsor would need a shot at internet hosting all the high execs at their occasion. However, not all sponsors are equal, so I suppose we’ll see.

Jay Monahan, Rory McIlroy

How is PGA Tour discovering extra money to combat LIV? Jay Monahan gave an concept.


Nick Piastowski

Bastable: Yeah, the rotating elevated occasions most grabbed my consideration. Intelligent concept — however will it work? With the highest gamers’ schedules filling up with the everlasting elevated occasions, majors and — coming quickly! — Monday night time golf, how a lot urge for food and power will they’ve for smaller-ticket tourneys? The John Deeres, the Hondas, the Rocket Mortgages, and many others., all appear to be in a precarious spot. The wave of family names who departed for LIV doesn’t assist issues.   

3. Max Homa supplied up a number of the higher ideas on the modifications after his Tour Championship second spherical, and when he was requested about his discipline measurement, he additionally mentioned this: “I don’t care how good I’m at golf; if folks aren’t watching, we’re simply telling folks in a bar we’re actually good at golf.” That raises a superb level. The entire modifications by the PGA Tour, together with the big, assured cash, seemingly have the participant in thoughts. However the place does the fan slot in to all of this?   

Max Homa

Need honest takes on the PGA Tour’s modifications? Ask Max Homa.


Nick Piastowski

Sens: As a fan, I’m partly delay by the madness of the cash. However there are trickle-down perks within the preservation of expertise. Greater than followers, I see extra pluses for bettors. I suppose a few of them are followers. 

Hirsh: What the fan will get are outlined occasions of when the “high gamers” are all going to be within the discipline. This fixes an enormous downside for the informal fan, who didn’t actually know once they had been alleged to be watching a Tour occasion. I knew the highest gamers weren’t on the Wyndham Championship, however was the Vacationers price watching? Wells Fargo? Bay Hill has the status of being Arnold Palmer’s occasion, however the discipline had been weakening with the brand new schedule shifts. Was it nonetheless price watching? Now followers will know precisely when the very best weeks to look at golf are. 

Bastable: Talked about this above, however, yeah, it’s onerous to see how any of this upheaval advantages the followers. Sports activities followers wish to watch the very best gamers, interval, competing towards the very best gamers, interval. In golf, that’s now not doable, apart from 4 occasions a 12 months. Don’t get me flawed: The drama round professional golf in latest months has had golf followers and non-golf followers alike riveted. However what occurs when that each one passes?    

4. This week, whereas the PGA Tour is off, LIV will play its fourth occasion, simply exterior of Boston, and as many as seven present Tour gamers shall be within the discipline. On Saturday, a number of retailers had been reporting that Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann and others would go away the Tour and be part of LIV, following different notable gamers who’ve performed so already. What do these strikes imply to each the LIV and PGA Tour manufacturers?

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith and others to affix LIV, based on experiences; LIV doesn’t remark


Nick Piastowski

Sens: A blow to the Tour and a boon for LIV. I don’t understand how you forged it some other method. 

Hirsh: It’s a blow to the Tour, but it surely may have been worse. Don’t get me flawed, Niemann and Smith are each younger gamers simply getting into the primes of their careers; Niemann might even be a number of years away from his. However each of those gamers actually don’t draw like Rory, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and even Adam Scott. It’s undoubtedly a fantastic announcement for LIV as, for probably the most half, many of the gamers defecting have been previous their primes. If Hideki Matsuyama was going over, that will be an enormous blow given his standing in Asia. Nevertheless it seems like he’s staying put for now, thus making this successful the PGA Tour can climate.

Bastable: Yeah, I’d agree that apart from the reigning Claret Jug-holder, there’s no names within the subsequent reported pack of defectors that may ship shockwaves past the golf world, but it surely’s nonetheless one other reminder that LIV isn’t performed recruiting. Price conserving in thoughts, although, that their format permits just for 48 gamers (for now, anyway), so there are solely so many spots. LIV clearly needs these 48 gamers to be the largest stars doable, however there are additionally solely so many big-name gamers who will say sure. Seems like we could be hitting that threshold quickly. 

5. Instantly after Monahan’s announcement, Rory McIlroy revealed that he and Tiger Woods would lead a “tech-infused league” that will be performed in an area on Monday nights beginning in 2024. As for the competitors, the TGL will function groups of three competing towards one another in a 3-on-3 format. Every group will play 5 occasions over the 15-week season and every broadcast will function only one matchup between two groups. Will you watch?

A rendering of the venue for the TGL.

Right here’s what we learn about Tiger and Rory’s new digital golf league, the TGL


Jack Hirsh

Sens: I’ll tune in out {of professional} curiosity, however I’m not the target market right here. Gimmicky and high-tech is just not my factor. I’m old-school and analog. In the event you ever discover me carrying VR headsets, please smother me with a pillow. I’d wish to reside my remaining years participating with the true world as a lot as doable. 

Hirsh: Target market right here! I used to be initially delay by this from the preliminary reporting, however after seeing the renderings and different plans, I’m hooked! Consider it like this, TopGolf attracts a method wider viewers than simply golfers. In truth, non-avid golfers in all probability like TopGolf greater than avid ones. If the TGL can do the identical, then I’m all for exposing extra folks to the sport.

Bastable: Execs hitting balls into simulators? I don’t suppose Monday Evening Soccer ought to really feel threatened. However I additionally suppose we’d like far more data right here earlier than submitting our opinions! Definitely love the concept of normal primetime golf and, on the very least, it looks like an excellent format for Tiger. No strolling required. If this idea means we’ll see extra of Woods with a membership in his hand, it’s already a win.        

6. An precise golf query! The Tour Championship concluded Sunday, and with it, the PGA Tour’s common season. Rory McIlroy rallied from six photographs down to start out the ultimate spherical to edge Scottie Scheffler and convey house the $30 million high prize. What did we find out about McIlroy in victory?  

Rory McIlroy

Marvelous McIlroy! Rory reels in Scottie Scheffler to win Tour Championship, FedEx Cup


Jack Hirsh

Sens: Nothing we didn’t know already. When he will get it going, he’s bought a rarefied gear. 

Hirsh: We already knew he was a fantastic chaser. We knew he was resilient. We knew he was the Alpha of the PGA Tour — when Tiger isn’t round. I believe this win was an announcement of how nicely McIlroy can let his play do the speaking. This was an enormous week for him. His final win, on the Canadian Open, was additionally an enormous week for him as a result of it was the week of LIV’s U.S. debut. Possibly these two wins will lastly assist him get the Masters monkey off his again.

Bastable: Like Tiger’s Tour Championship win in 2018, you couldn’t have scripted this one significantly better. The Tour’s knight in shining armor in 2022 successful the season-culminating tourney and a boatland of (non-LIV!) {dollars} as well. All of it felt so proper. After his win, Rory additionally spoke of how a lot his Open Championship disappointment nonetheless haunts him. He’s not over it, he mentioned, however absolutely $18 mil will assist soothe the sting.      

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