More money, schedule changes, no way back for LIV golfers: 5 takeaways from Jay Monahan’s press conference at the Travelers
CROMWELL, Conn. - The Travelers Championship, with a date many people would think is among the worst on the PGA Tour calendar - the week after the U.S. Open – is a success story that Commissioner Jay Monahan loves to talk about. He knows the tournament well, having graduated from Trinity College, which is just 11 miles from TPC River Highlands in Hartford. But on a wet Wednesday afternoon, Monahan was at the media center to talk about something else: the threat the LIV Golf Series poses to the PGA Tour and what the Tour plans for the future.
As it turns out, Monahan spoke for just over 40 minutes and outlined a new structure that the PGA Tour plans to implement soon.
Here are five key takeaways from his press conference.
The FedEx Cup playoff season is being revamped for 2023
Tour Championship 2021
Patrick Cantlay celebrates with Nikki Guidish and the FedEx Cup on the 18th green after winning the final round of the 2021 Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. (Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
At the end of this season, which concludes with the Tour Championship finals on August 28, players ranked 125th and higher on the FedEx Cup scoreboard will qualify to play in the first tournament of the FedEx Cup Playoffs (the FedEx St. Jude Championship) and receive full exemptions from the PGA Tour for next season. But on Wednesday, Monahan announced the number would drop to 70 by 2023.
There will still be three FedEx Cup playoff events, but the top 50 in the points standings will advance to round two in 2023, and then the top 30 will advance to the Tour championship after round two.
Golfers who don't qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs must earn their exceptions for next season by competing in a series of events throughout the fall.
The calendar-based season returns
2022 RBC Canadian Open
Rory McIlroy celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2022 RBC Canadian Open at St. George's Golf & Country Club in Etobicoke, Ontario. (Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Beginning in fall 2013, the PGA Tour adopted a wrap-around schedule that ended in late summer 2014, but Monahan announced Wednesday that the tour intends to return to a calendar-based season in 2024. That means the 2024 PGA Tour season will start in January and end in late August, making it more condensed.
The advantage of this system, especially for top players, is that golfers can enjoy the off-season and not worry about getting back into action with a low FedEx Cup point position.
"Self-interested, I would wish for an off-season for me," Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday. "I'd like not to show up in February and be 150th on the FedEx Cup points list because I just didn't want to play in the fall and wanted to take some time off and spend some time with my family."
Beginning in 2023, golfers who make it to the second round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs will also qualify for a new series of up to three international events taking place in the fall. These events are expected to take place in Asia, Europe and the Middle East and will each have approximately $20 million in prize money.
Massive prize money increases at eight events
Genesis Invitation 2022
Joaquin Niemann poses with the trophy after winning the 2022 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
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