Cash for cash: PGA’s latest plan to fight Saudi millionaire LIV
The American circuit presents a new package of measures, with an important economic injection, to face the new Arab tournament.
The Golf War enters the close combat phase. On the eve of the last playoffs of the PGA Tour season, Jay Monahan, the highest authority of the American circuit, appeared before the media to announce a package of new measures accompanied by a significant economic injection. The PGA commissioner intends to thwart the progress of LIV Golf, which could in the coming days announce its commitment to a new group of players, which would be led by the world number 2, the Australian Cameron Smith.
The improvements of the new PGA Tour revolve around four fundamental points, always with the philosophy of bringing together the best players in competition more often.
For 2023, Monahan has announced four new events (minimum $20 million each) ensuring that the best players will compete during the year in at least 20 tournaments. Thus, the greatest figures of the PGA Tour have agreed to play 12 tournaments in 2023, plus the four majors and the Players Championship. To this initial schedule of 17 tournaments, they will have to add three others from the regular schedule of the American Circuit of their choice.
The events that will need to be on their schedule are the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational Memorial Tournament presented by Workday, the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, and the three FedExCup Playoffs events (FedEx St. Jude Championship, BMW Championship and TOUR Championship), plus three new ones awaiting announcement. All will have a minimum purse of $20 million.
Impact on networks
The second major announcement is the extension of the Player Impact Program (PIP), who will double his prize pool up to $100 million which will be split among the 20 players (so far only the top 10 have been paid), who have the most social media and media reach.
The third of the novelties is called “Profit Guarantee Program” and intends that all new players who come to the PGA Tour and play at least 15 tournaments will get a minimum wage of half a million dollars a year. In the event that the player does not reach this figure with the prizes won in competition, the PGA Tour will make up the difference. In addition, for players lower in the rankings, beyond 125th place, they will receive $5,000 per week in each tournament where they are not selected, to help with travel and other tournament-related expenses. This extra money will not affect tournament prize money.
To finish, the agreement with Tiger Woods and Rory McIIroy at the head of The Golf League (TGL) has been announced, a virtual competition where six teams of three players will compete from January on Monday evenings in an interactive format with simulators and a staging far from the golf courses, generating a kind of golf stadium, with public, music, drinks. An initiative that aims to introduce the general public and sports enthusiasts to golf.
“Today is the culmination of a strengthened partnership between the Tour and the players, and between the players themselves,” Commissioner Monahan said. “It’s unprecedented for our Tour and it’s a testament to who these guys are and what they believe in.” The reactions were not long in coming and Greg Normanboss of LIV Golf, posted a meme on his social networks alluding to the fact that the new measures announced are modeled on the new Saudi Circuit project.
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