Ahead of the 2022 Tour Championship ,the final event of the season, PGA commissioner Jay Monahan announced major changes to the upcoming season at a press conference. The changes, including a total of $46 million added to the total 2022/2023 season purse, come after a series of back and forth controversies between the newly formed Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour.
At the top of the news, Monahan praised Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy for their efforts to unite PGA athletes in the weeks leading up to the announcement. Woods and McIlroy held a players-only meeting the week of the BMW Championship for athletes to discuss the tumultuous climate in professional golf, making it an opportunity to privately voice concerns and raise issues that have stemmed from players leaving for LIV Golf.
The meeting served as a catalyst for the changes Monahan revealed shortly after voicing his thanks to the future hall of fame golfers.
“I know there's a lot of curiosity and speculation as to what was discussed and what was decided [at the players-only meeting], but ... I think it's important to understand that this process represents a remarkable moment for the PGA Tour and showcases the essence of what being a membership organization is all about,” Monahan said in a statement regarding the changes.
He continued, “With the best interests of the collective in mind, those players rallied together to strengthen the Tour platform, recognizing that if fans are going to invest in the PGA Tour, it means a hell of a lot more if they know the players are investing right back. I am inspired by our great players, every one of our players, who epitomizes the perpetual values and competitive fabric of our sport.”
Changes To The 2023 PGA Season
The following outlines the updates the PGA has made for the 2023 season:
- Guaranteed Wages With “Earnings Assurance Program.” Beginning in 2023, athletes with fully exempt status (including Korn Ferry Tour and above) returning to the tour will receive $500,000 up front and must play in a minimum of 15 tournaments.
- Top Players Will Commit to 20 Events. This update will now result in the biggest names on the tour sharing the same stage more often. The minimum events will include eight new elevated events as previously delegated, plus four additional events that will have purses of $20 million, the four major tournaments, The Player's Championship and three FedEx Cup events of the player’s choosing.
- The PIP Will Be Expanded. The PIP or Players Impact Program, will go from the top 10 to the top 20 players in the upcoming season. The PIP will also feature a prize amount of $100 million, which has been doubled from the previous amount. Top Players lists will be derived from the top 20 athletes.
- PIP Criteria Will Change. Starting in 2023, social media impact will no longer be taken into consideration. Instead, PIP will determine based on golf fan awareness, internet search results, media mentions and broadcast exposure, as well as general awareness of the player (think Woods' impact on non-golfers).
- Travel Stipend Program. Non-exempt players will now qualify for a travel stipend. Players ranked 126-150 will receive $5,000 for every missed cut to combat event travel expenses. Stipend funds will not affect tournament’s purses.
- Qualifications for Tournament of Champions. All athletes who finish within the top 30 in the FedEx Cup and qualify for the Tour Championship, will be invited to the Tournament of Champions. The Tournament of Champions will award the winner 550 FedEx Points, the equivalent of the Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Memorial Tournament and WGC-Match Play.