JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jack NicklausThe new PGA Tour schedule is a mystery to many. There are $20 million purses at 10 higher tournaments and The Players Championship at $25,000,000. Thats not even what the majors will be like.
The Memorial is a highly regarded tournament. This is not surprising since the tournament Nicklaus created has long been considered one of the most important events this side a major. It sits in a prime spot on the schedule, between the PGA Championship (US Open) and the PGA Championship (US Open).
He is most concerned about the possibility of two tours. Jay Monahan, PGA Tour Commissioner, said that he has some work ahead of him to figure out how to make it work.
Nicklaus said last week at Timuquana Country Club, Im not quite sure what to make of this yet. I thought the tour was going get there, but they were pushed by the LIV thing. Its quite obvious. The PGA Tour has become almost two tiers. The other tournaments are now feeders.
Nicklaus is also involved with the Honda Classic at PGA National. The Nicklaus Childrens Health Care Foundation is its primary charity.
For a three year stretch that ended in 2016, the Honda Classic field was as strong in March as any other during the Florida swing. It has suffered from being a week following the Riviera Genesis Invitational and the week prior to the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
These are now high-profile events. Next year, the Honda Classic has a purse worth $8.4 Million.
Its been there between LA and Bay Hill for the past four to 5 years in a very difficult place. Nicklaus stated that they would like to move out of this spot. Jay and I have had a good conversation about it since we are beneficiaries. Were looking at a few options. We are trying to find a way to move the date to make it more important.
But you know what? Youll find the people there if you go there. It will draw huge crowds, it will raise a lot money, and it will prosper despite the fact that it doesnt have some of its players. Its still quite good.
Its more than the Honda Classic. The Valspar Championship in Tampa falls after The Players and prior to the Dell Match Play. Four other tournaments will be part of the $20 million prize pool. We are still trying to figure out how they fit into our tight schedule.
Nicklaus laughed at the thought of his career earnings exceeding $5.7million.
He said, It is amazing. The wealth of what the golfers of today can raise and play for is amazing. Its unbelievable. You can see the same thing in other sports.