PGA Tour to raise purses to fend off rival LIV

LOS ANGELES • The PGA Tour is laying out plans to increase purses at several marquee events and revamp its schedule in an effort to compete with the burgeoning LIV Golf Invitational Series, multiple outlets reported on Tuesday.

According to reports, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan detailed proposed changes to the tour schedule at a packed meeting of players ahead of today's first round of the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Proposals include boosting purses to at least US$20 million (S$27.8 million) in eight existing marquee events and the introduction of three new US$25 million tournaments that will feature no cuts and limited fields. The overhaul could happen by next season.

Events that could see a hefty increase in prize money include The Players Championship, the Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial and the Tournament of Champions. At present, the Players has the largest purse on tour, reaching US$20 million for the first time last March.

The moves are the clearest indicator yet of the PGA Tour's strategy to combat the rise of LIV Golf, which has steadily been luring star names to sign with the upstart circuit that offers US$25 million for each of its 54-hole tournaments.

Other changes proposed on Tuesday by Monahan included a return to a calendar year schedule running from January to December. The current "wrap-around" format runs from October through September and is unpopular with players who feel it does not allow for a defined off-season.

Tuesday's developments came as news broke that Brooks Koepka, the world No. 19, and Mexico's Abraham Ancer, ranked 20th, will follow the likes of Dustin Johnson and six-time Major winner Phil Mickelson by joining the rival tour.

The series, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, has drawn stinging criticism from human rights groups, which say it is an attempt to boost the kingdom's image through sport.

The PGA Tour has adopted a zero-tolerance stance towards the series, with Monahan suspending 17 former or current tour players for making the switch.

Last week's US Open, however, allowed LIV Golf players to compete, while next month's British Open, confirmed yesterday they will not be banned from the Major.

Patrick Cantlay, 30, described the PGA-LIV confrontation as a fight to attract and retain talent.

"Right now there's a competition for talent that's going on," he said.

"Part of the concern is not knowing what the future is going to be like.

"So if the PGA Tour wants to remain the pre-eminent tour for professional golfers, it has to be the best place to play for the best players in the world."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2022, with the headline PGA Tour to raise purses to fend off rival LIV. Subscribe