The PGA Tour continues to fight the impact of LIV Golf announcing the increase in status of four of the more popular events on the PGA Tour schedule.
The four events – WM Phoenix Open, RBC Heritage tournament, Wells Fargo Championship and Travelers Championship – will now boast prize purses each of $20m.
That’s an increase of $11.8m for the Phoenix Open, $12m for the RBC Heritage, $11m for the Wells Fargo and $11.7m for next June’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut.
The PGA announced the whopping increase in prize-money in a move clearly to combat the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.
However, such a move by the PGA Tour still does not rival the LIV Golf’s initial season where the seven events contested since June each carried a purse of $20m with an additional $5 million split among the top three teams each week.
Later this month the LIV Golf team championship format will conclude at Trump National in suburban Miami with a purse of $30 million on offer to the top three players and an additional $50 million in team prizes.
Though the PGA Tour cannot be blamed for doing nothing as this announcement of the now $20m prizemoney status of the Phoenix Open, RBC Heritage, Well Fargo Championship and Travelers Championship seems to confirm.
In addition, the PGA Tour indicated in addition to the four new events, others with boast increased purses and player commitments including the four major championships, the Players Championship, the three FedEx Cup playoff events, the Tournament of Champions, WGC Match Play, Memorial tournament, Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Genesis Invitational hosted by Tiger Woods.
PGA Tour players finishing in the top 20 of this year’s controversial Player Impact Program, a measure of player popularity that pays bonus money for well-known talent, will now be required to play in all events they qualify for as well as three other events, ensuring PGA stars make at least 20 appearances a year.
The four elevated events for 2023 are for next year only with other tournaments potentially replacing them in future years should the PGA wish to ensure its biggest names compete in a wider array of tournaments over other seasons.
There will be no change in dates played for the Phoenix Open, Wells Fargo Championship, Travelers Championship and Heritage as they will retain their traditional spots on the tour calendar and eligibility criteria allowing from more than 120 players at each.
The Phoenix Open is staged in February with the Heritage coming the week after the Masters in April, the Wells Fargo three weeks later in Charlotte and the Travelers to be played the week after the US Open.