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Monahan announces Tour changes: Top players to play more, guaranteed money, PIP expansion



Commissioner Jay Monahan announced several enhancements to the PGA Tour and its schedule in a press conference ahead of the Tour Championship, Wednesday.

In the wake of last week’s players-only meeting, Monahan announced additional “elevated events” for 2023. Top players (defined as players who finish in the top 20 under the current Player Impact Program and players who finish in the top 20 under the revised PIP criteria) will participate in at least 20 PGA Tour events (up from 15, previously).

Additional items include an expansion to the Player Impact Program (doubled to award $100 million to 20 players) and guaranteed league-minimum earnings ($500K) for full PGA Tour members.

“Our top players are firmly behind the Tour, helping us deliver an unmatched product to our fans, who will be all but guaranteed to see the best players competing against each other in 20 events or more throughout the season,” Monahan said.

Full details from Wednesday’s announcements:

1. Top players will commit to at least a 20-event PGA TOUR schedule (assuming they qualify), which includes:

A. 12 Elevated Events
1. FedExCup Playoffs
A. FedEx St. Jude Championship – $20 million
B. BMW Championship – $20 million
C. TOUR Championship/FedExCup Bonus Pool – $75 million
2. The Genesis Invitational – $20 million
3. Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard – $20 million
4. the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday – $20 million
5. WGC-Dell Match Play Championship – $20 million
6. Sentry Tournament of Champions – $15 million
7. To be announced: four additional Elevated Events – purses of at least $20 million each

B. THE PLAYERS Championship – $25 million

C. The Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, The Open Championship

D. 3 Additional FedExCup events (of the player’s choosing)

2. For the 2022-23 season, a “top player” will be defined as:

A. Players who finish in the top 20 under the current Player Impact Program AND players who finish in the top 20 under the revised PIP criteria

3. Expansion of the Player Impact Program

A. Reward 20 players a total (up from 10) for 2022 and 2023
B. Total bonus pool of $100 million (previously announced as $50 million) in 2022 and 2023
C. For 2022, any player on the revised criteria list who is not on the current criteria list will receive a payout equal to 20th position (most likely two or three players)
D. Players will receive their PIP bonus at the end of the season after competing in the 12 Elevated Events and three non-elevated events, as outlined above

4. Launch of “Earnings Assurance Program”

A. For fully exempt members (Korn Ferry Tour category and above)
B. Guaranteed league minimum of $500,000 per player (TOUR funds any gaps in earnings)
C. Rookies and returning members will receive money up front
D. Must participate in 15 events
E. Replaces “Play15” Program

5. Travel Stipend Program

A. For non-exempt members (126-150 category and below)
B. Receive $5,000 for every missed cut
C. Subsidizes travel and tournament-related expenses
D. Does not impact tournament purses

A copy of the letter Monahan sent to PGA Tour members, via Golf Digest’s Daniel Rapaport, below.

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  1. Pingback: Cam Smith awkwardly bats off question taunting Rory McIlroy at LIV presser – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: Jon Rahm dismisses ‘report’ he has joined LIV – GolfWRX

  3. Pingback: Phil Mickelson takes swipe at PGA Tour for ‘magically finding a couple of hundred million’ – GolfWRX

  4. KP

    Aug 27, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Dear LIV players,
    Thank you for improving our earning potential and quality of life on tour. We couldn’t have done it without you.

    Every PGA Tour player

  5. joe

    Aug 26, 2022 at 12:27 am

    Monahan should resign if the health of the tour is truly his aim.

    I do enjoy people like TW talking about integrity and honor and such. Its good for a laugh

    If nothing else LIV has removed most of the D bags from the tour and for that I’m eternally grateful.

    I think what we ultimately have to come to grips with is that its too difficult for players to work their way up financially (thinking mini tour guys etc), yet its too demanding on the top talent to keep the pace of the 12 month schedule.

    Does anyone remember when the tour had an off season? We started with the masters and ended with the PGA. It was better for the players and better for the fans. Perhaps less money for the tour…is the tail wagging the dog?

    • Jack

      Aug 26, 2022 at 6:33 am

      I’m also eternally grateful that most of the D bags went to LIV…

    • joe and Jack

      Aug 28, 2022 at 5:01 pm

      You two bottoms should meet up and get it over with. GAW GAW GAW slobber slobber slobber oh Im so eternally grateful GAW GAW GAW

  6. MhtLion

    Aug 25, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    Great changes! 15 years late, but still a great change.

    • Tiger McIlroy

      Aug 25, 2022 at 5:33 pm

      Monahan: “us crusty boomers at PGA are finally making the changes you’ve been begging for decades, and oh by the way Saudi evil, Saudi Saudi Saudi blood money sportwashing buzzword buzzword buzzword, capiche?????”

  7. Gary Ahlert

    Aug 25, 2022 at 10:34 am

    i agree with what everyone above has said. There ought to be a big thank you and apologies to all those players like Phil, Johnson and the rest who stood above all this nonsense, lies and hypocrisy.

  8. Scott

    Aug 25, 2022 at 7:30 am

    I find it amazing that Phil and others had been saying “you need to make some changes or we’re looking at something new”, and that after all that has happened, they decide to make some of these changes. I’m not quite sure the logic in allowing some of the biggest names in the sport (Mickelson, Johnson, Koepka, Dechambeau) to leave and be banned from your tour, then afterwards fulfill some of their requests.

    I’ve never been offered more money than I’ve made in my entire working career to work for someone I don’t align with morally, so I’m not going to speak to that. I will say, however, that if McIlroy and others are so concerned about this “money grab”, then why are they pushing for so much more money for their own pockets? Does he need the extra millions from the PIP that could easily be donated to the charitable causes the tour helps? Hard to listen to someone criticize the greed of others while they are working to line their pockets more.

    • GMatt

      Aug 25, 2022 at 9:53 am

      You hit the nail on the head, what I want to know is where is all this money coming from? If the PGA tour is truly a 503c entity then will the money come from present salaries, charitable donations, increased sponsorship fees?
      Just like the present economy, the money has to come from somewhere, they can’t match the ? from the Saudi’s so is the PGATS now unsustainable?

  9. Jack

    Aug 25, 2022 at 1:41 am

    Just a minor point, they can’t have the Top players competing if 30 percent of them play on the LIV tour. This is a watered-down tour trying to match LIV. The PGAT tried hard to discredit LIV and the players that departed for LIV. The PGAT failed in every way imaginable and now are left scrambling and pushing lame limited field events.

  10. dat

    Aug 24, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Flop here, not really advancing the game or tour at all.

  11. Paul

    Aug 24, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. The love of money is the root of all evil. Beware and bow in prayer for forgiveness before the Lord. A once pure game is tainted even more. Repent of your sins and be baptised and you shall be saved. This is why no one plays a 1 iron anymore.

  12. Michael

    Aug 24, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Did the PGA tour just rob a bank or hit the lottery? Where’s all this extra money coming from, lesser %’s to charity?

    For me, the average golf TV watcher, I do see pluses. Yes, there e/b top-tier & lower tier events. And some lower tier events will not have much star power. But that’s the way professional sports are going anyway. It’s definitely a factor of the rich getting richer but it’s good to see some compensation for everybody on the tour as it may give new guys a bit more time to develop into stars.

    I’m glad to see PGA tour commissioner Tiger Woods come out with all this stuff. Ugh, you seriously think Jay Monahan has this was influence? He’s been overmatchef & outplayed since LIV started. Finally had to bring in the big dog to lay down the law & implement some changes.

  13. Tom K.

    Aug 24, 2022 at 5:54 pm

    The Greg Norman lit a fire under Jay “Klaus Schwab” Monahan.

  14. Roy

    Aug 24, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    So basically now the PGA tour is a 17 event tour. All the other lower tier events will exist for players to try and qualify for this tour…..

  15. Roy

    Aug 24, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    SO basically you will have 17 events on the PGA tour. The remaining events on the PGA Tour 2nd Tier will be used to try and qualify for “the worlds greatest tour”

  16. Jolter

    Aug 24, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    So the rich get richer while the players who actually make up the Tour for all the other events get the shaft. For saying they can’t compete with the money, it sure looks like that is what they are doing. This reactionary philosophy could be the downfall of the PGA Tour as we know it.

  17. GMatt

    Aug 24, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Seems as though Jay Boy is scared sh!fleas from LIV and is trying to prevent his top talent from leaving. Problem is the “secondary talent” players aren’t getting squat and it’s giving new Korn Ferry grads an eye opening as to whether to join the PGA Tour and struggle to cover expenses or take whatever offers they may get from Norman. I think Monaghan royally miscalculated and is hedging the future

  18. Sam

    Aug 24, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    Isn’t this precisely why Phil Mickelson joined LIV originally? To leverage the PGA tour into change. It would seem Phil got them to do exactly what he wanted them to ultimately.

    • Chris

      Aug 25, 2022 at 6:48 am

      Exactly. Phil Mickelson was correct all along. The players owe him a debt of gratitude at a minimum. I still see very little change for the bottom players who deserve better compensation.

  19. DG

    Aug 24, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    Monahan and McIlroy are jokes to use words like “integrity”. Where did all this newfound money for te PGA Tour come from? Monahan has obviously been asleep at the wheel. He makes over $4M per year and needs to be replaced. McIlroy needs to now apologize and recognize the martyrdom of Norman and the LIV players and thank them for having the guts to stand up to the PGA Tour. The abuse and vilification they’ve absorbed has enriched all of the cowardly and/or stupid PGA Tour players. I think it should now be obvious that McIlroy is a money-grubbing hypocrite. Now, fire, Monahan and have the new commissioner welcome the LIV players back.

  20. Kelly

    Aug 24, 2022 at 11:26 am

    All the PGA talks about is money and looking after the elite players. No different that the LIV tour. I like the big start fields of well over a 100 players. I enjoy watching a Monday qualifier play well. All it seems you are doing is making the rich get richer and the average PGA pro or Horn Ferry Pro have a tougher time to make a living. It seems the PGA only wants to look after the top players. So much for Jay’s put down of the LIV tour. Yes money is the be all and end all for these guys.

  21. Paulo

    Aug 24, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Too little too late. They need to be proactive not reactive

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Five Things We Learned: Day Two of the 2022 Presidents Cup



The reports of Team World’s death are exaggerated. Will the international squad storm back from its day-two deficit to win on Sunday? Probably not. However, the team found its legs on Friday, and pushed every match to the 16th hole. With mainstays and anchors gone from the honorable International squad, younglings like Mito Pereira, Taylor Pendrith, and Tom Kim will take their lumps this week, but will emerge as stronger players for 2024. Don’t be surprised if a few of those halved matches fall the way of the World on Saturday, and if the visiting squad pulls out a few wins on day three. Let’s digest the five things we learned on day two of the 2022 Presidents Cup.

Match 1: Buzzsaw Number One wins for second consecutive day

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth don’t lose. To boot, they are from the same generation, and they share that camaraderie and kinship. The partners won holes 4 and 5 to gain an early, 2-up advantage over elder statesmen Adam Scott and his countryman, Cam Davis. The Aussies fought all day long, but the Americans twice reached a 3-up advantage, and closed their opponents out on the 17th hole, 2 and 1. Captain Davis Love III shows no signs of separating the duo, so Team World will have to contend with Jussy and Jordy again on Saturday

Match 2: Im and Muñoz saw Scheffler and Burns

What’s the deal with Scottie? When you’re number one in the world, people expect you to win every time. All that competitors see is a bull’s eye on your back. For the second consecutive day, the Scheffler-Burns pair underperformed, and allowed the World to grab a precious half-point. Scheffler won the fifth hole with a birdie, but that was the end of his heroics. It was up to Burns to win another three holes, to manage a tie with the pride of Korea and Colombia. If Scheffler-Burns is together again on Saturday, then Captain Love deserves a bit of second-guessing. All in all, a tie is better than a loss, for both sides.

Match 3: Second match halved by two impressive sides

In match three, Cameron Young won three holes for the USA. Christiaan Bezuidenhout won two (and Mito Pereira, one) for the World team. First grade match tells you that neither side had the upper hand. Kevin Kisner never got on track for the tri-color, and left the heavy lifting to his young partner. Young was up to the task, and nearly stole a win with a long birdie putt at the final green. If I’m the World captain, I keep Mito and Cristo together on Saturday. Just saying.

Match 4: Xander and Patty keep taking them down

Hideki and Tom had to feel like a couple of high-school sophomores, paired against the two-time defending conference champs, who just happen to be seniors with fast cars. When Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are your number two team, that’s trouble for the opposition. No one has found a way to defeat Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, and the more matches they win, the more formidable they become. The Americans from Cali came out blazing. Five wins on the opening nine got them to a five-up-with-seven-to-play cushion. To Tom Kim’s credit, he didn’t give up. He won three of the next four holes on his own, but without any help from Hideki, the match ended in a 3 & 2 win for Team USA.

Match 5: Homa-Run on final green wins final match for hosts

For the second consecutive day, the World team had an opportunity to secure a half or full point on the final green. For the second time, they were unable to do so. Max Homa traded Tony Finau for Billy Horschel, but remained in the anchor spot for the American side. The Canadian pair of Pendrith and Conner never led, but never trailed by more than two holes. The Maple Leafs had their opportunities, but could not gain the upper hand on the Red, White, and Blue. When Homa buried the twelve-feet putt at the last, the host squad secured an 8-2 advantage, headed into round three.

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Five Things We Learned: Day One of the 2022 Presidents Cup



The 2022 Presidents Cup, like so many other aspects of golf, fell victim to the shadows that currently threaten the professional game. Players from both sides were ineligible to compete, but that’s not the worst thing in the world. Rewind a year or so, and it’s safe to say that neither Mito Pereira nor Taylor Pendrith imagined that he would be part of a final-hole resolution of a first-round match. As a high school coach, I know that players transfer, and I also know that opportunity then knocks for others. With that optimistic outlook as our hood ornament, let’s break out the five things that we learned on day one of the 2022 Presidents Cup.

1. Mixing it up is good for a golf course

It takes a great mind to reroute a golf course known for its three-hole, closing stretch. The Green Mile consists of the 16th, 17th, and 18th holes at Quail Hollow, and features more water than a storm cloud. Since the Presidents Cup features match play as its format, the potential existed that those holes might be missed in a route. The set-up committee put its collective heads together and found a way to set the triumvirate as holes 13, 14, and 15, ensuring that they would play a bigger role in match outcomes. The next time you visit your home course, stop by the superintendent’s office and ask about alternative routings. Could be fun!

2. Cam Davis and Si Woo Kim earn the World Team’s only point

It’s not the heading that anyone wanted to write, but alas, it’s a fact. The mildly-decimated World team was able to secure but one point on Thursday. Kim and Davis won the last four holes to turn a two-hole deficit into a two-hole victory. It’s difficult to pinpoint what compelled Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns to play the closing quadrilateral in three strokes over par, but that’s precisely what happened.  On Friday, Scheffler and Burns will return to make amends, while Davis will partner countryman Adam Scott. Kim will watch from the sidelines, before returning in a subsequent round.

3. Young and Younger take match three for USA

Collin Morikawa is officially three months older than Cameron Young, but in terms of golf, the Californian is a sage, with two major titles. Not that Young is that far off, mind you, but Morikawa seems to wear the mantel of decorated veteran quite well. The pair matched up well on day one of the matches. Facing the Korean pair of Tom Kim and K. H. Lee, the USA pair took a 2-up lead into the back nine. A streak of malaise brought the match all square through twelve, but the Americans regained the lead at 13, then closed out the match with another birdie at 17. On Friday, Young will pair with Kevin Kisner in fourball, while Morikawa will sit the morning round out. Kim will partner Hideki Matsuyama, while Lee will rest for his next match.

4. Cantlay and Xander obliterate Scott and Hideki

The tee shot below was about the only imperfect thing that Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele did all day. Their 6 & 5 annihilation of Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama was a resounding bell call for the sons of the Red White and Blue to ready, aim, and fire. The American team won 7 of the 13 holes played, against one for the pair of Masters champions. The bad news for Team World is that Patty and Xander will join forces again on day two. Scott and Matsuyama will find new partners, in an effort to steady the ship.

5. Where does the World get its Friday wins?

The Canadian duo of Connors and Pendrith needs to close out the anchor match against Horschel and Burns, but wait ~ we’re getting ahead of things. Adam Scott must play like a young Adam Scott, and Cam Davis must again set fire to the course, in order to derail the featured USA pair of Spieth and Thomas. If Im and Muñoz can upset Scheffler and Burns, the USA pair that everyone expected to dominate, will wonder what do they need to play well. In match three, Christian Bezuidenhout must motivate PGA Championship runner-up Mito Pereira, and Young and Kisner need to play less-than-stellar match play. Team World doesn’t need to win all five matches, but it does need to secure a minimum of 3.5 points, to make the host team sweat.


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The Wedge Guy: A defense of blades



One of the longest-running and most active conversations in all of golf equipment is the subject of blades versus game improvement irons. Over the nearly 20 years I’ve been writing this blog as “The Wedge Guy,” I’ve addressed this in various ways and always stimulated a lively discussion with my readers.

I hope this angle on the conversation will do the same, so all of you please share your thoughts and observations.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have always played some kind of blade-style irons, with only a few detours along the way. But I always come back to my blades, so let me explain why.

I grew up in the 1950s and 60s when blades were all we had. As a teenager with a developing skill set, I became a devotee to those models from the old Ben Hogan Company, and played the “Bounce Sole” model, then several iterations of the Apex line after it was introduced. Those few sets served me well into my 30s, when I became involved in the golf equipment industry. Having Joe Powell Golf as a client, I switched to his pure muscle back model called the “PGI.” They were certainly sweet.

In the late 1980s, I was handling the marketing for Merit Golf, who offered a cavity back forging called the Fusion, which was inspired by the Ben Hogan Edge irons, but offered a more traditional face profile. So, I switched to them.
Playing to a low single digit handicap at the time, I really didn’t see my scores change, but I just wasn’t making as many birdies as I had before. Openly pondering why my golf felt different, a regular golf buddy noted, “You’re not knocking down pins as often as you used to,” and I realized he was right. I was hitting just as many greens as before, maybe one or two more, but I wasn’t getting those kick-in birdies nearly as often. So, I went to the closet and broke out the old Joe Powell PGI irons and had an epic day with three birdies inside five feet and a couple more in the 5-10 range.
Those blades stayed in the bag until I developed my first iron design, the “RL blades” by my first company, Reid Lockhart. By this time, I had seen enough robotic testing prove that the most penalizing mishit with a blade was a toe impact, which mirrored my own experience. So, I sculpted a pure muscle back blade, but added a bit of mass toward the toe to compensate for that deficiency of all such designs.

I played those irons for 20 years, until I created the “FT. WORTH 15” irons for the re-launch of the Ben Hogan brand in 2015. In that design, I further evolved my work to very slightly add a bit of modified perimeter weighting to a pure forged blade, taking inspiration from many of Mr. Hogan’s earlier personal designs in the Apex line of the “old” Ben Hogan Company. Those are still in my bag, going on eight years now.

So, why do I think I can make a solid defense for playing blade irons? Because of their pinpoint distance control, particularly in the short irons — those with lofts of 35 degrees or higher.

I’ll certainly acknowledge that some modern perimeter weighting is very helpful in the lower lofts . . .the mid- and long irons. In those clubs, somewhere on or near the green is totally acceptable, whether you are playing to break 90 or trying to win on the PGA Tour. [Did you know those guys are actually over par as a group outside 9-iron range?] That’s why you see an increasing number of them playing a conservative game-improvement design in those lofts. But also remember that we in the golf club design business deal with poor “hits” only . . . we have no control over the quality of your swing, so the vast majority of bad golf shots are far beyond our influence.

But what I’ve seen in repeated robotic testing and in my own play, when you get to the prime scoring clubs – short irons and wedges – having a solid thickness of mass directly behind the impact point on the face consistently delivers better distance control and spin. In my own designs of the SCOR wedges in 2010, and the Ben Hogan FT.WORTH 15 irons and TK15 wedges, I created a distribution of mass that actually placed a bit more face thickness behind the slight mishit than even in the center, and the distance consistency was remarkable.

I’ve carried that thinking to the Edison Forged wedges by positioning much more mass behind the high face and toe miss than any other wedges on the market. And in robotic testing, they deliver better transfer of energy on those mishits than any other wedge we tested.

So, back to that experience when I switched back to my Joe Powell blades from the Merit cavity back forging, I can sum it up this way.

If your pleasure from your golf is derived more from how good your worst shots turn out, then a game improvement iron is probably the way to go. But if your golf pleasure is more about how good your best shots are, I think there is a very strong case to be made for playing some kind of blade iron design, at least in your scoring clubs.

Alright, fans: sound off!

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