ATLANTA (AP) — The PGA Tour made its boldest response yet to the rival Saudi-funded league Tuesday with a plan for the best players to commit to a 20-tournament schedule in which they will compete against each other up to 17 times.
The schedule includes the four majors and features $20 million purses, except for the smallest field at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua to start the year.
Most of the key tournaments already were in place — the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and the Memorial; Kapalua and Match Play; the three FedEx Cup playoff events; the four majors and The Players Championship.
Still to be announced are four tournaments that would be “elevated events.” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan hopes to announce those in the next two months.
Players also would be required to play three regular PGA Tour events.
The changes stem from several meetings among top players that began at the J.P. McManus Pro-Am in Ireland last month and culminated with a players-only meeting involving 23 top players at the BMW Championship last week.
Players who take part next year will be determined by the Player Impact Program, which has been revised. The tour said 20 would come from this year’s PIP program and from another list that involves the new criteria.
The tour is moving away from a system geared toward Q-rating and social media and moving more toward television exposure, media mentions and fan awareness.
The PIP bonus pool goes from $50 million to $100 million next year, with the leading player getting a $15 million bonus.
The announcement comes at the season-ending Tour Championship, where the winner of the FedEx Cup gets $18 million. The LIV Golf series is expected to announce a new batch of PGA Tour players that is likely to include as many as six players.
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