LOS ANGELES, U.S. — Rising purses, revamping the schedule: PGA boss Jay Monahan made several proposals on Tuesday to counter the emergence of the lucrative Saudi-funded breakaway league LIV.
According to several media, the PGA would like to increase the purses of eight renowned tournaments to at least $20 million from 2023 and introduce three new tournaments endowed with $25 million each, without cuts, as on the LIV circuit competitions.
The calendar could also evolve with a season modeled on the calendar year, between January and December, while currently the PGA Tour starts in the fall.
These changes were presented to players during a meeting held on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Travelers Championship, which takes place this week in Cromwell, Connecticut.
“I think these tracks can help retain players” tempted by a departure to the dissident league, said Harris English, defending champion of the Travelers Championship.
“If the PGA Tour is to remain the preeminent tour for professional golfers, it must be the best place to play for the best players in the world,” said American Patrick Cantlay.
The torch has been burning for several months in the world of golf around the creation of the LIV circuit. Carried by Saudi Arabia and former champion Greg Norman, the LIV Series, with an extraordinary budget, aligns unprecedented purses on the greens ($25 million per tournament for only three days of competition instead of four) and has already attracted several renowned golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.
The first Series LIV tournament took place in early June in London with 17 PGA members participating, all barred from the tour until further notice. It was won by South African Charl Schwartzel, who walked away with a check for $4 million.
This is the biggest crisis since the creation in 1968 of the PGA, the professional circuit where the best in the world play.