The PGA Tour’s designated event schedule will see fields cut to between 70 and 78 players and the 36-hole cut will be removed according to Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch.
The changes, which were reportedly ratified by the PGA Tour board on Tuesday night, will be a significant change from the 2023 format which saw the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Genesis Invitational and this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational feature 120-man fields with players outside the top 65 (and ties) going home after two rounds.
There will be no change, however, to the PGA Tour’s flagship Players Championship, nor the FedEx Cup playoff events, and as always, the major championships will determine their own field size and makeup.
The designated events series came into effect in 2023 as a result of the arrival of LIV Golf, and were designed to combat the Saudi-backed startup’s attempts to lure the game’s top players using vastly increased finances as an incentive.
It’s been said from the start that the 2023 designated events were a work-in-progress and the format seen from 2024 onwards would be a modification from this year, and speculation has been rife that reduced fields and no cuts would be introduced as an effort to entice sponsors with the guarantee that all the players in the field will compete on the course for all four tournament days.
Lynch reports that the top 50 players in the FedEx Cup rankings as at the BMW Championship – the second of the FedEx Cup playoff events – will qualify for the designated events, with the additional participants comprised of players who qualify through regular (non designated) PGA Tour events, sponsor’s invitations, and world rankings.
This is sure to come in for criticism from several groups, including the rank-and-file PGA Tour members, though the avenues will be there for players to play their way into the events, so players in form will have every chance of getting to tee it up alongside the established top professionals on the PGA Tour circuit.
It’s also sure to come in for criticism from LIV Golf supporters who feel that LIV has unfairly been branded an ‘exhibition’ given the limited field and no cuts that are a feature of their events, and would see this as the PGA Tour mimicking the tour that they’ve been highly critical of themselves.
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