In a move that will no doubt draw accusations of hypocrisy, the PGA Tour board has reportedly signed off on changes that will see some of their 2024 elevated events played with smaller fields without a cut.
Cast your mind back to last August and all hell was breaking loose in the war of attrition between the PGA Tour and their rival LIV Golf.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy spearheaded a players' only meeting where the elite pros discussed what they needed to do going forward to avoid other top players bolting from the established circuit.
Related: Xander Schauffele on no-cut events
The result of that 16 August meeting before the BMW Championship appears to have fundamentally changed the path of the PGA Tour.
Woods was later quoted as saying that the tour he has won 82 times on couldn't compete dollar for dollar with a sovereign wealth fund.
But what they could do is provide better opportunities for younger players getting onto the tour, adding:
More changes are coming.
According to a report by Golfweek's Eamon Lynch, on 28 February the PGA Tour board signed off on huge changes for the 2024 schedule that will see reduced fields in some, not all, of the elevated events and the removal of the 36 hole cut.
According to the report:
- Fields in elevated events will be reduced to between 70-78 players with no halfway cut
- The changes will not apply to all of the elevated events, the majors, Players Championship and FedEx Cup playoffs
A source told the publication:
The decision to reduce the fields will no doubt cause concern for some PGA Tour members.
Jack Nicklaus previously outlined his concern that the tour would essentially be split into two tiers.
Lynch's report quotes one elite player anonymously promising that there will be ways for the rank-and-file members to play their way into the huge prize purse events.
The report states that fields for the events will be determined from the top 50 players who qualify for the BMW Championship during the previous season's FedEx Cup playoffs, plus the top 10 players "not otherwise eligible on the current FedEx Cup points race".
There will also be five spots available from non-designated events.
Other qualifying criteria will include consideration from the OWGR. Sponsor exemptions will also remain in use.
Just this week Xander Schauffele offered his thoughts on the removal of cuts.
He said 'emotionally' he is always in favour of a cut but stated removing them makes the PGA Tour easier to sell to sponsors.
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