Each week check out the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topics in sport, and join the conversation by tweeting us Tweet embed. This week we discuss changes to the PGA Tour schedule and money, LIV’s departure, Rory McIlroy’s win and more.
1. In a frequent trend, most of the news this week came before the show. And the biggest was Multiple changes to the PGA Tour schedule and funds As part of a round fight against LIV Golf. Among the items announced by Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on Wednesday before the Tour Championships are: 20 players will be defined as the “Top Players” starting next year; The device that rounds out these players, Player Impact, will receive cash from $50 million to $100 million, rewarding these players; Four other tournaments, in addition to the eight announced in June, will be categorized as “high events” with portfolios worth $20 million; The 20 players will play in those events, the Players Championship, the Major Leagues and three other tournaments; All players who are fully exempt will start the season with a salary of $500,000; Players will receive a travel stipend of $5,000. We’ll start with this: will these moves work in a round battle against LIV Golf?
Josh Sens, senior writer (Tweet embed): They appear to be effective steps in retaining young American talent. The result looks as if both sides are stronger in their positions. LIV is not going anywhere. But the tour cemented critical core support.
Jack Hirsch, Assistant Editor (Tweet embed): Players seem to choose between money and inheritance. LIV apparently has an unlimited offer of money. On the other hand, the tour has a history, and if it can earn bucks at least a screaming distance from the LIV, I don’t see many players picking it up during the tour. After all, what does $25 million get that $20 million doesn’t get? The bottom line of the league also helps nurture Tour Pros who help make up a lot of what it’s like to be playing on the PGA Tour.
Alain Bastable, Executive Editor (Tweet embed): You know when this plan was truly effective? a year ago. This new model has many cool elements and temptations – and it seems to have helped sway at least one rising star, in Cameron Young, to stay in place – but it’s still a little too late. Too many ships have already sailed, creating two dilute golf leagues, one of which you can only watch on YouTube. Yes, we will see some of the best players in the world meet regularly at the high profile PGA Tour events but not all of them. It’s only going to happen four times a year now, in the majors. It’s a real problem. The big players on both rounds are getting richer, but the golf fans will be getting poorer at that.
2. What change are you most interested in? What change might need some work?
Sense: A salary of 500 thousand dollars. Lots of men are consumptive and can’t cut it. But you have to do something to keep the farm teams alive. The change I would still like to see is a greater commitment to the serenity of places. Great designs go a long way towards creating an interesting golf game.
Hirsch: I agree with Josh here, but I’ll change it up to bring up another topic. I’m very interested in how “high events” rotate from season to season. Will we see John Deere Classic go up in 2027? You would think that every sponsor wants a chance to host all the top professionals at their event. On the other hand, not all sponsors are created equal, so I guess we’ll see.
Pastable: Yes, the periodic high events caught my attention. Smart idea – but will it work? With the top players’ tables brimming with permanent events, specializations, and – soon! Monday night golf, how much appetite and energy will they have at the smaller tournaments? John Deeres, Hondas, Rocket Mortgages, etc. all seem to be in a precarious place. The wave of names of families who left for LIV does not help matters.
3. Max Homa He gave some of the best ideas about the changes after the second round of the Tour Champions, and when asked about the size of his court, he also said: “I don’t care how good I am at golf; if people aren’t watching, we tell people in the pub that we’re really good at the game.” golf”. This raises a good point. All the changes made by the PGA Tour, along with the guaranteed big money, seem to have the player in mind. But where does a fan fit into all this?
Sense: As a fan, I’ve been put off in part by crazy money. But there are tiered perks to retaining talent. More fans, I see more positives for bettors. I think some of them are fans.
Hirsch: What a fan gets is specific events when the “big players” are all on the field. This fixes a huge problem for the average fan, who didn’t really know when they were supposed to be watching a tour event. I knew the best players weren’t in the Wyndham Championship, but were the Travelers worth watching? Wells Fargo? Bay Hill has the status of being an Arnold Palmer event, but the stadium has been weakening with the new schedule changes. Was it still worth watching? Now fans will know exactly when the best weeks to watch golf are.
Pastable: I mentioned this above, but, yeah, it’s hard to see how any of these disruptions are benefiting fans. Sports fans want to watch the best players, period, compete against the best players, period. In golf, that is no longer possible, only four times a year. Don’t get me wrong: The drama of professional golf in recent months has piqued the interest of golf enthusiasts and non-golfers alike. But what happens when all this passes?
4. This week, while the PGA Tour is off, LIV will play its fourth event, just outside of Boston, and Up to seven current round players It will be in the field. On Saturday, several outlets reported that Cameron Smith, Joaquin Neiman and others will be leaving the tour and joining LIV, after other notable players have already done so. What do these moves mean for both the LIV and PGA Tour brands?
Sense: A blow to the round and a blessing to the LIV. I don’t know how I threw it any other way.
Hirsch: It’s a hit for the tour, but it could have been worse. Don’t get me wrong, Neiman and Smith are both young players just entering the beginning of their careers; Niemann may be a few years away from his work. But both guys sure don’t draw like Rory, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, or even Adam Scott. It’s definitely a great announcement for LIV because most of the maverick players are past their prime times. If Hideki Matsuyama was to go, it would be a huge blow considering his standing in Asia. But it looks like he’ll stay in place for now, making this a hit that the PGA Tour could beat.
Pastable: Yes, I agree that other than a claret holder, there are no names in the next set of defectors reported that will send shock waves beyond the golf world, but it’s still another reminder that LIV hasn’t finished recruiting. However, it’s worth noting that their format only allows 48 players (for now, anyway), so there are only too many locations. Obviously, LIV wants these 48 players to be the biggest stars possible, but there are also plenty of big-name players out there who would say yes. It looks like we may reach that threshold soon.
5. Immediately after Monahan’s announcement, Rory McIlroy revealed that he would be driving with Tiger Woods “My league is saturated with technology” It will be played in the Monday Nights Arena starting in 2024. As for the competition, TGL will have 3-team teams competing against each other in a 3-on-3 format. Each team will play five times over the course of the 15-week season, and each broadcast will contain only one match between two teams. Will you watch?
Sense: I’ll listen to professional curiosity, but I’m not the target audience here. Eye-catching and high-tech are nothing. I am old school and analog. If you find me wearing VR headsets, please smother me with a pillow. I would like to live out my remaining years dealing with the real world as much as possible.
Hirsch: Target audience here! I was initially put off by this from the initial reports, but after seeing other shows and plans, I got hooked!
Pastable: Pros hitting balls in simulation? I don’t think Monday night football should feel threatened. But I also think we need more information here before submitting our reviews! Definitely like the idea of regular prime time golf, and at least it seems like a perfect format for Tiger. No need to walk. If that concept means we’ll see more Woods with a club in his hand, that’s really a win.
6. A real golf question! The Tour Championships wrapped up Sunday and with it the regular season of the PGA Tour. Rory McIlroy He recovered from six shots to start the final round to defeat Scotty Scheffler and return the $30 million jackpot. What did we learn about McIlroy in victory?
Sense: Nothing we didn’t know already. When he starts working, he has shaky equipment.
Hirsch: We already knew he was a great stalker. We knew it was resilient. We knew he was the alpha on the PGA Tour – when Tiger isn’t around. I think this win was a statement of how well McIlroy can let his play speak. This was a big week for him. His latest win, at the Canadian Open, was also a big week for him because it was the week that LIV debuted in the United States. Perhaps these two victories would finally help him get the Monkey Master off his back.
Pastable: Like winning Tiger’s Tour Championship in 2018, you couldn’t have written this game better. The rider of the tour in his shining armor in 2022, winning the championship crowned with the season and land of boats (not LIV!) dollars to boot. Everything felt right. After his victory, Rory also spoke about how disappointed he was in the Open Championship that continues to haunt him. He said it wasn’t over, but the $18 million would surely help soothe the sting.