Spieth opens up on LIV influence over new PGA Tour changes

Ronan MacNamara

Jordan Spieth (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Jordan Spieth admitted that the threat of LIV Golf was a significant factor in the substantial changes announced to the 2024 PGA Tour schedule.

Earlier this week it was announced that the designated $20 million events would have field sizes reduced to between 70-80 players with no 36-hole cut, which has come under criticism from LIV players who feel they have been unfairly scrutinised for participation in a similar format.

“I would be lying if I said that we would have gone through this without LIV. But at the same time, we haven’t mentioned them in any of our discussions on what we think’s best for the Tour,” Spieth said after an opening 68 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill.

“So there was a few things, obviously, like the Player Impact Program, stuff that the Tour was doing to try and make sure they were, could hold their best assets, or best players, whatever you want to call it, and then from there, it was, all right, everyone in this room’s committed. Let’s figure out what this future product model should look like.

“Then the Tour’s been all ears. It’s been a player-friendly, player-organised situation. So it’s been honestly pretty fun to be a part of. I hope that we can kick it off the right way and don’t have to make too many adjustments to it because that’s the main thing now is trying to get it as close to right the first time as possible.”

The reception towards these changes has been mixed but Spieth also seems to be singing from the same hymn sheet as his peers and he said he is excited for the future of the PGA Tour.

“I think some of the veterans in there, guys like Tiger, who are — and even Rory, pretty influential and saying, ‘Hey, this is a meritocracy, and we need to keep it the way that’, like a lot of things in line with the way the TOUR, you know, essentially take some out of PIP, boost it back into purses, stuff where when you play well you get rewarded, and you don’t, if you don’t, keeping it that way, to an extent. Keeping that in mind, I should say.

“And I think we’ve found a pretty good balance right now in holding on to what you’re talking about, that history of it, but also making modern adjustments that I think, in my opinion, reward appropriately to the guys who beat the best in the world week-in and week-out.”

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