The PGA Tour has been shaken from reaching the professional golf course of a league established by Saudi Arabia, and is preparing for a regulatory response to the insult by some players to join this new league, for the first time in the history of the sport.
The PGA Tour has been criticized for its low prize money and hectic calendar, so it needs to change its regulations to continue to exist against the renegade league. In this context, the PGA Tour will consider an overhaul of its off-season regulation and a new reward network. Could these reforms really allow the North American League to remain the major league in world professional golf?
Launching LIV Golf, a true alternative to the current model
If the organizational model of world professional golf prior to the arrival of LIV Golf was very simple: the best players contending for titles on the PGA Tour, the European circuit is in some way a second division and finally classic tournaments known as “major” such as the US Open or the Augusta Masters , the new maverick league will change the model in place so far.
The arrival of LIV Golf coincides with the emergence of a reliable alternative to the high prize money offered by the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. With impressive sums committed, LIV golf has been able to attract global superstars to the sport, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Lee Westwood. The economic model of this competition is based on a single institution that pumps out the majority of the money promised to the winner: the Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With twenty million euros in prize money spread over each event of this new league, the comparison is quick and the financial benefit is understandable for the players invited to come and play this new tournament. This new alternative allows for a better reward, but also thanks to a more limited player field, longer rest periods and a tournament played over only three days, one day less than that of the PGA Tour.
The selection of some players to participate in this new competition did not go unpunished from the PGA Tour, which hastened the suspension of golfers from the ring for several years who made the decision to participate in the LIV Championship Series.
PGA’s Perceived Response: Surrender to Player Requirements by Increased Prize Money and Reducing Player Fields
The PGA Tour shouldn’t take long to give a firm response to the offer proposed by the breakaway league and among the hypotheses put forward, there is talk of a new series of restricted-field tournaments (50 players) with higher and lighter wallets. end of the season. This should leave room for players to fight for qualification for next year and remain in the PGA Tour player field to compete in the final tournaments at the end of the season.
A token re-evaluation study is also underway, the re-evaluation of the FedEx Cup winner who must see his wages increase by three million euros next year in order to compete with the amounts proposed by LIV and thus justify the penalties for players who choose. to leave the PGA Tour.
Read also: The program for the entire PGA Tour season here.
A sufficient answer?
If some of the current players who have already made their appearance on the PGA Tour are expected to stay away from the North American circuit for an extended period, it is likely that after these announcements, the North American League will be able to stem the bleeding from players who have opted for exile by making concessions on topics brought up by the parties Main concerned. Thus the PGA Tour can maintain its legitimacy and consider the long-term proposal for the Saudi Arabia-funded league.
After the decision also announced by the European Tour, the DP World Tour, to impose financial penalties and suspend tournaments that were jointly approved with the PGA Tour, it appears that the situation will take a long time to resolve the issue. So the mathematical consequences would be far from zero.
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Paul Casey, too much drop for the PGA?
The last player to date missed the PGA Tour as well as the European circuit: Paul Casey. The 44-year-old English golfer announced last week that he will take part in the LIV Golf International Series at the end of July, a highly questionable decision as the Englishman has already boycotted some events (he refused to play the Saudi international in 2019 in particular.).
No one knows how the wave of departure will unfold and where the success of the maverick league will end, but one thing is certain, the regulatory turmoil in world golf is only in its infancy.
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