PGA Tour sends explosive letter to its players revealing huge prize money increases in blow to mega-rich LIV series…with $500,000 minimum wage, immediate LIFE membership for players and a new average purse of $20 million
- The PGA Tour sent a letter to its players on Wednesday announcing big changes
- Jay Monahan immediately increased prize money for players
- There will now be a lifetime membership for players when they reach 20 wins
- Plus, there’s a new average scholarship of $20 million and a minimum salary of $500,000.
The PGA Tour has dealt a blow to its rival series LIV Golf by announcing massive prize money increases in a bombshell letter sent to its players.
Commissioner Jay Monahan has given the go-ahead for some immediate changes in a bid to keep players on the PGA Tour, as some of the world’s top stars head to the new Saudi-backed LIV Tour.
In a three-page letter sent to players on Wednesday, it was revealed that there will now be a minimum salary of $500,000 for all PGA Tour players, a new average purse of $20 million to keep pace with LIV and an immediate lifetime membership. for golfers when they reach 20 wins – rather than the first 15 needed.
Players who have stuck with the PGA Tour, including Rory McIlroy (left) and Tiger Woods, have been rewarded with huge prize increases.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan revealed the details in a letter sent to his players
The news will be a blow to LIV and Greg Norman as they continue to try and lure players into their new series, with Brooks Koepka, Bryson Dechambeau, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson having already jumped ship.
The PGA changes are huge and immediate, and will see the best players in the world compete in around 20 PGA Tour events next year.
Additionally, stars will receive $5,000 for missing tournament cups, with never-before-seen amounts awarded to PGA Tour players even if they don’t win competitions.
Dustin Johnson (pictured right with Donald Trump) was drawn to the LIV Golf Series
Greg Norman has become a destabilizing force in traditional golf as CEO of LIV Golf
In the letter, sent by Monahan on Wednesday, he said that “although [the changes] would garner plenty of headlines in media circles and with fans,” he is “convinced that these changes will have a positive impact on every TOUR member.”
SUMMARY OF PGA TOUR CHANGES
Introduced four elevated events (bringing the season to 12)
Top players commit to a schedule of 20 PGA Tour events per year
Expanded Player Impact Program
Launch of Revenue Assurance Program
Launch of the travel allowance program for non-exempt members
Sentry Tournament of Champions Qualifying Criteria Changes
Lifetime membership awarded after 20 wins (removed length of membership criteria)
The PGA Tour also elevated four more events to the 2023 FedEx Cup regular season, in addition to the eight announced in June, with an average prize pool of $20 million.
High events, to be announced in due course, will join the FedEx St Jude Championship, BMW Championship, Tour Championship/FedEx Cup, Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial Tournament, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship and the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Although the letter makes no mention of LIV Golf, it is widely believed that the changes come in the face of the series of breakaways stealing a number of top players.
In fact, some of the changes are things Mickelson has campaigned for for years, leaving many to wonder how defected players will see them and when they will happen.
The PGA Tour’s “Player Impact Program” will also reward 20 players and the payout has been doubled from $50 million to $100 million – effective from the final 2022 rankings.
The Tour leader also proudly stated that the “top players” are committed to participating in at least 20 PGA Tour events per year.
With 12 of the tournaments now categorized as “High Events,” this leaves room for all four Major Championships, the Featured Players Championship, and additional FedEx Cup Playoff events (assuming the player qualifies).
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, ahead of the Tour championship at East Lake this week, Monahan said: “Our top players are firmly behind the Tour, helping us deliver an unparalleled product to our fans, who will be almost guaranteed to see the best players competing in 20 or more events throughout the season.
“Today is the culmination of a strengthened partnership between the Tour and the players, and between the players themselves,” he added.
“It’s unprecedented for our Tour and a testament to who these guys are and what they believe in.”