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The PGA Tour has announced a radical change to certain events from next year with a “no cut” rule set to be introduced. This rule will be in place for events solely for the top 50 players from the previous year’s FedEx Cup standings.
It means that players like Rory Mcilroy and Scottie Scheffler will benefit from events where financial earnings are guaranteed regardless of how they play. With the emergence of LIV Golf in recent years, the PGA Tour has been under pressure to offer better incentives to their top players to prevent them from jumping ship.
One of the biggest draws of LIV for some players is the fact that tournaments on the Saudi-backed tour don’t have a cut line. It means they are guaranteed to play the entire event and guaranteed to get paid. There is also the added bonus of smaller fields, which these new events on the PGA Tour will also address.
Most events on the PGA Tour contain fields of over 100 players which means professionals can have really early starts or really late finishes which can disrupt their rhythm on the course. Major tournaments will not be impacted whatsoever by these changes.
So next year we’ll have 10ish PGA Tour events with no cut and limited fields of mostly the same players. Definitely an easier product to sell to advertisers and sponsors. Guys can play their way in, sure.
But, it must be said, it does sound awfully similar to another golf tour. https://t.co/SEV0Wxv4dm
— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) March 1, 2023
A guarantee for the top players
With the Arnold Palmer Invitational set to start this week, Rory Mcilroy has been on hand to offer his thoughts on the new changes to the PGA Tour. As someone who has been outspoken about his negative feelings towards LIV Golf in the past, Mcilroy is glad to see that the PGA Tour is doing more to try and retain its top players. He said:
“It isn’t as if the PGA Tour hasn’t had no-cut events. We had no-cut events since I have been on the Tour for the last 15 years. The no-cut thing just became a big deal when LIV came around. That was what prompted the whole discussion around it.
I think it guarantees the top players are there for four days and I am certainly not one to reward mediocrity. This is the most aspirational Tour to play in the world and we have to keep it that way.”
Other PGA professionals are also on board with the changes, while others such as Billy Horschel are worried about whether it will drive more division in the game. The American said:
“I hope there isn’t a division and once it all comes out and is all laid out there that everyone can see the opportunities that are there.”
It didn’t take long for LIV Golf to respond to the changes. The official LIV account posted a tweet saying: “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Congratulations PGA Tour. Welcome to the future.”
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Congratulations PGA Tour. Welcome to the future.#LIVGolf
— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) March 1, 2023
Ian Poulter, a member of the LIV Tour, was also quick to take to social media to offer his thoughts on the situation. The Englishman tweeted:
“Sounds somewhat familiar. Now I can’t wait to hear all the back tracking of comments from the last 7 months.”
It didn’t take long for people to remind Poulter of a couple of remaining key differences between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, including the fact that players still have to earn their place on these new, elevated events on sporting merit.