How the Tours shape up in 2024: Part Four – The Majors and the Irish

Mark McGowan
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Mark McGowan

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With multiple changes in format, we break down exactly how the three main tours are going to look in 2024 and the final part sees us take a look at the Major Championships and where the Irish men will be playing. 

Whilst the waters surrounding the framework agreement between the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the PGA and DP World Tours remain as murky as ever, the 2024 seasons on LIV, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour are just around the corner and with more riches than ever up for grabs, who plays where and when has never been more important.

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour’s Strategic Alliance continues to see the benefits spread across both tours and the revamped formats on each should lead to more cross-participation of the leading players on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Here is what we can expect to see on all three of the leading professional men’s circuits in 2024.

WHAT ABOUT THE MAJORS?

The Major Championships look set to remain untouched in 2024, with both Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley and R&A CEO Martin Slumbers suggesting that there would be no changes to their qualification criteria, meaning that any non-exempt LIV players would have to negotiate Open Championship Qualifying or hope to receive an unlikely special invitation from Augusta National.

Neither the PGA of America nor the USGA have made any announcements regarding their eligibility criteria, however, similar to the R&A, the USGA is expected to stick to its tried and tested formula, leaving the PGA Championship, won in 2023 by LIV’s Brooks Koepka and who pride themselves on having the strongest field of all four majors, the most likely to alter it to ensure the participation of any of LIV’s top players.

The Masters takes place from 11-14 April, followed by the PGA Championship at Valhalla, Kentucky on May 16-19.

The U.S. Open returns to North Carolina’s Pinehurst from June 13-16, while the 152nd Open Championship heads back North of the Border to Royal Troon, starting on July 17.

The Majors
Apr 11-14   The Masters – Augusta National
May 16-19   The PGA Championship – Valhalla
Jun 13-16   The US Open – Pinehurst
Jul 17-20   The Open Championship – Royal Troon

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE IRISH?

Rory McIlroy, of course, can decide where and when he wants to play in 2024. With no obligations to play in the ‘Signature Events,’ Rory will likely begin his season defending the Dubai Desert Classic in mid-January before returning to the United States to begin his PGA Tour campaign at either the Pebble Beach Pro-Am or the Genesis Invitational.

Seamus Power, like McIlroy, is exempt into all the ‘Signature Events’ and will likely take his place in The Sentry in Hawaii on January 04. Power, who battled injury in the latter half of the season, is expected to return to competition in defence of his Butterfield Bermuda Championship in mid-November but has fallen outside the top-50 in the world rankings, so barring some late-year fireworks, will need a solid start to 2024 to secure an invitation to the Masters.

Shane Lowry is one of those currently on the outside looking in for the ‘Signature Events.’ Lowry’s decision not to play in any of the ‘Fall Series’ events suggests that he may be afforded sponsors’ invitations to both the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Invitational but will need strong performances in the early season if he is to play his way into the subsequent ‘Signature Events.’ Lowry remains exempt into all four majors for at least another year.

Tom McKibbin’s impressive rookie DP World Tour season was capped by a victory at the Porsche European Open, guaranteeing his playing rights through 2025, but at the time of writing, one of the 10 PGA Tour cards for the Race to Dubai leaders looks beyond his reach.

Graeme McDowell has found himself a new home with Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC after an underwhelming two years as part of the Martin Kaymer captained Cleeks GC. The Portrush man was beginning to rediscover some form towards the back end of the year so will be hoping he can carry that over into 2024 and avoid career uncertainty again this time next year.

WHAT ELSE IS ON THE CARDS IN 2024?

The Presidents Cup will be contested between the Jim Furyk led United States and Mike Weir’s Internationals at Canada’s Royal Montreal from September 26-29, and the Olympic Games are being held at Paris’ Le Golf National, with the men’s event running from August 1-4 and the women’s running from August 7-10.

The above feature appeared in the 2023-8 edition of Irish Golfer. To view the full edition click below

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