LOS ANGELES — The PGA Tour continues to rebuild itself in its ongoing battle against the LIV Golf League for top players around the world. Rory McIlroyHe says that the tour should consider the NBA as a model for growth.
McIlroy spoke to reporters Wednesday ahead of the Genesis Invitational, Riviera Country Club. He said that the PGA Tour should be built around its stars, much like the NBA was to become one the most popular leagues in this world.
McIlroy said that the NBAs 20-year history has shown that they have built their league around their top players and their stars. Not around the 12th man on the team. But because they have built that league around the stars the 12th player on the team does a lot better than he used. Thats kind of how I tried to tell it.
McIlroy, McIlroy, and the PGA Tour’s upper echelon members love how the new designated events have performed so far. LIV Golf threatened the tour, so the tour named nine tournaments, including Genesis Invitational, to increase purses. The WM Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championships, and Travelers Championship are additional events that were added to the list. The additional tournaments may rotate in the future.
The PGA Tours goal in bringing the best players together to compete in the same events will be to produce the best product. The purse for the Sentry Tournament of Champions last week, which has a smaller field of competitors, was $15m. Other events will have purses of $20 million, with the exception of the Players, which has a $25 million prize.
The designated events are great for the top players and the winners. However, PGA Tour members in the middle of a pack and those trying to break into the tour wonder where they will fit in.
The PGA Tour may make some of the designated events restricted-field, no-cut tournaments. Players ranked between 70 and 80 would be excluded from the field. The tour is still deciding the size of the fields.
Legacy tournaments such as the Arnold Palmer Invitational or Memorial have always had 120-player fields. The Genesis Invitational field, which is hosted at Tiger Woods, was increased this year to 136 players.
McIlroy stated that he has had many conversations with men who are concerned about the events theyll play next year. The one thing that I said was, Look, no one is trying to screw up the bottom half of this tour here. We are trying to lift it.
Sources tell ESPN that designated events were discussed at Tuesdays players meeting.
Woods said that the company is still figuring out all the details and has used a variety of models and opinions to try and figure out the best product and competitive environment. He also suggested what Woods should do moving forward. Yes, there are limited fields. Whats the limit? Cuts? Is it true? Whats the number? What do you want to do? What is the number of players participating in the event? OK, how many players are participating in the event?
How is it possible? [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay [Monahan]Can we sell our product to all of the sponsors? There is so much giving and taking. Its still ongoing.
Some players have pointed out Canadas strengths. Nick TaylorAs an example of a great player who might be left behind in the future, Taylor Taylor was ranked No. Taylor was ranked No.233 worldwide going into the WM Phoenix Open last Thursday, but he fought Scheffler until the final. Taylor finished second, two strokes behind Scheffler, and earned $2.18million, his largest payday in his career.
Scheffler stated that Scheffler believes that if we do go to smaller fields, it wont be an inaccessible tournament. Just because you arent 120 guys anymore — lets just say you go to 70 — it doesnt mean that there wont be any other avenues to get into tournaments. Like the eligibility to play in those events, good golf will still be rewarded.
Yeah, even though the fields are small, good play is still rewarded. Its not fair to lose a story like Nick.
McIlroy insists that the PGA Tours new product will not be a closed shop for the same guys every week.
McIlroy stated, This tour is built on meritocracy. This tour was built on the principle that if you shoot the score, you can move up to the highest levels and play in the biggest events. This wont be lost.
Adam ScottRecently, he was named Chairman of the 16-member Player Advisory Council. He said that the tour cannot be all things for all people as it tries and figure out how to move forward.
Scott stated, It just cannot. I believe the best thing we could do is strike a balance between what the top players want and what the membership should be. Its possible. Its not unreasonable. However, it will take some time and finessing to get that balance right.