PGA Tour ‘respond to Saudi-backed LIV Series with eight no-cut special events with £16MILLION purses in wholesale changes to the tour schedule and FedEx Cup from 2023’… after Brooks Koepka becomes latest golf star to join breakaway
- The schedule of the eight events would have purses of at least £16m each
- The events would be for those players inside the top 50 in the FedEx Cup
- Those outside that category would play in another series of tournaments
- It would signal a return to the calendar-based golf schedule last seen in 2012-13
The PGA Tour have reportedly delivered a response to the Saudi breakaway by announcing eight no-cut, limited-field special events from the beginning of the 2023 season.
Golf Digest claim the schedule of the eight events will have purses of at least £16million ($20m) each for those players who finish inside the top 50 during the previous season’s FedEx Cup.
The body will also reportedly announce those outside that category will play in another series of tournaments, in which they will battle to maintain their cards and attempt to enhance their status for the following campaign.
It would represent the first change in the PGA Tour schedule since 2013-14, when scheduling was switched to a wraparound structure from the now re-implemented calendar-based schedule.
The news comes just hours before the PGA Tour holds a mandatory meeting with players at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, where commissioner Jay Monahan is expected to speak.
Monahan confirmed last week players who have joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series will not be allowed to ‘freeride’ off the PGA Tour.
Asked why players could not do both, Monahan said: ‘I guess I would answer the question by asking a question – ‘Why do they need us so badly?”
The PGA Tour will reportedly announce eight special events from the beginning of the 2023 season
It comes as the organization’s response to the controversial Saudi breakaway LIV Series
‘Those players have chosen to sign multi-year lucrative contracts to play in a series of exhibition matches against the same players over and over again.’
The reported measures appear to be the first attempt to mitigate the effects of players joining the LIV Series, with Brooks Koepka the latest star to quit the PGA Tour to join the controversial Saudi breakaway.
The four-time major winner, 32, is set to become the latest big name to join the money-spinning tour, with the American to be announced in the coming days alongside compatriots Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed.
It also comes just a few months after Koepka – whose brother Chase is already signed up to LIV Golf – effectively labeled Phil Mickelson ‘greedy’ over his involvement in the new tour which has stunned the world of golf in recent weeks.
Brooks Koepka became the latest star to quit the PGA Tour to join the Saudi breakaway
Koepka – who has earned £30.8million ($37.9m) in career prize money to date – will have commanded a seven-figure fee to sign up, similar to that of Dustin Johnson, who received a £120m ($150m) up-front fee.
Players who have already signed up to the LIV series have faced a backlash because of the human rights abuses carried out by the Saudi regime, which is financing the £1.6billion LIV Series.
Johnson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia have joined LIV Golf and they all figured in the tour’s inaugural event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
But speaking on Monday, LIV Golf chief Greg Norman hit back at critics of the series and slammed the PGA Tour for its ‘deafening’ hypocrisy.
LIV Golf chief Greg Norman has hit back at critics of the Saudi-backed breakaway series
‘I’m disappointed people go down that [blood money] path, quite honestly,’ Norman told foxnews.
‘Look, if they want to look at it in prism, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing 40-plus billion dollars’ worth of business with Saudi Arabia?
‘Why is it okay for the sponsors? Why is it okay that there’s a Saudi sponsor, Aramco, the largest sponsor of women’s golf in the world? Why is it okay for them? Why is it not okay for these players?
‘will [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan go to each and every one of those CEOs of the 23 companies that are investing into Saudi Arabia and suspend them and ban them?
‘The hypocrisy in all this, it’s so loud. It’s deafening.’
The 67-year-old pictured with inaugural LIV Golf Invitational winner Charl Schwartzel