PGA Tour Players Still Expecting To Play Regular Tournaments

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — This year on the PGA Tour was referred to as a “bridge” to get to 2024, a chance for players to have time to figure out the best way forward for generations to come.

One change to the new system involves the Player Impact Program.

The bonus pool has been cut in half to $50 million and only 10 players get rewarded. Also, players no longer will have to fulfill various requirements — such as playing all but one of the designated events — to get their money.

As for the 2024 schedule, there is no longer a requirement to play any of the designated events. The tour believes there’s enough incentive through $20 million purses or not having a cut that no one would want to miss.

What does that mean for the other tournaments?

While the schedule remains a work in progress, tour officials lean on the term “cadence,” meaning a flow that no longer stacks tournaments on top of each other.

Rory McIlroy expects plenty of top players will be at those other events.

“I don’t particularly want to take three weeks off in between big events. I’m going to play at least one of those three to try to keep my game sharp,” McIlroy said. “So again, it’s trying to create the best schedule that guarantees that the top players play in the big events. But also that it can sort of guarantee the participation in a handful of the full-field events as well.”

McIlroy played 20 times on the PGA Tour in 2019, as an example, and 18 times in 2021 (excluding the Tokyo Olympics). He also played selected European tour events.

“Those 16 events from January to August isn’t a ton,” he said, referring to the designated tournaments, which include the majors and The Players Championship. “You’re going to play more than that to feel sharp and ready to go at the biggest events.”

Jon Rahm was among the skeptical about being required to play all but one of the designated events this year. For the Spaniard, it’s all about freedom of where to play.

He doesn’t plan to stop at 16 events next year.

“I love going to Torrey Pines, and if it’s ever not designated, I will be going to Torrey Pines,” he said. “Same with other events, and I think a lot of people think the same way with other ones, not to speak of possibly sponsor commitments players may have.”