How the PGA is competing with LIV's deep pockets
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How the PGA is competing with LIV’s deep pockets
The PGA Tour has undergone several changes in the past year, and these changes are partly due to the emergence of the LIV Golf League. One significant change is the introduction of elevated events, all about money. These golf tournaments offer bumper prize purses with an average of $20 million, making them some of the most lucrative tournaments in the world.
So, what are elevated events?
These have come to be known as designated tournaments, 17 of which are scheduled for the 2023 PGA Tour. The PGA Tour has increased the prize purses for these tournaments, which now include major championships, making them even more prestigious. For instance, The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in March 2023 will be the richest tournament in history with a $25 million purse.
However, only some PGA Tour players can participate in these tournaments. Only players who finished inside the top 20 of the Player Impact Program are eligible to compete in these events. This is part of an initiative by the PGA Tour to ensure regular participation by star players and to get them together in the same field more regularly.
The Player Impact Program, or PIP, considers various factors that, when combined, determine a player's impact on fan engagement, TV ratings, and social media, among others. The top 20 PIP finishers are required to play in the designated elevated events they are eligible for, while other players may choose to participate. However, players can skip one elevated event if they wish. In January, Rory McIlroy skipped the first elevated event at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, which Jon Rahm won.
Tiger Woods, who has won the Player Impact Program two years in a row, will not be docked money from the 2023 PIP despite not being able to participate in every elevated event due to physical limitations from his recent car crash.
Apart from the elevated events, the PGA Tour has also made other changes, such as reducing the number of players qualifying for the FedEx Cup playoffs. The top 70 players will now advance to the FedEx St. Jude Championship, and only 30 will qualify for the Tour Championship at East Lake. Additionally, the tour has moved to a calendar-year schedule from 2024, and players who don't qualify for the smaller FedEx Cup Playoffs field or are not previously exempt for 2024 will compete for their Tour cards in a new fall series, details of which will be announced this year.
Finally, the tour has introduced the Earnings Assurance Program for the 2022-23 season, which guarantees all fully exempt tour players who compete in 15 tournaments will earn at least $500,000, with the money paid upfront and drawn against from their earnings during the season.
ICYMI: last night I talked to News 3 in Las Vegas about the upcoming Formula 1 race.
We talked track speed, vantage points (shout out @MSGSphere) and the massive economic impact the city will experience.
— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino)
Apr 5, 2023