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PGA Tour

PGA Commissioner reacts to LIV Series threat and increases tournament prize money

Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour Commissioner, announced important changes on Wednesday in order to improve conditions for players and prevent more from leaving.

PGA Commissioner reacts to LIV Series threat and increases tournament prize money
Joseph McMahon
jmcmahonztown
Update:
Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour Commissioner, announced important changes on Wednesday in order to improve conditions for players and prevent more from leaving.
Michael ReavesGetty

Several changes to the PGA schedule were announced Wednesday that include a calendar-year season and significant prize money increases, which are an attempt to keep players from moving to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The latest big name to leave the PGA Tour was announced by the LIV Series during Commissioner Monahan’s press conference. The rumored departure of 4-time major winner Brooks Koepka was confirmed by the rival tour as journalists were asking the head of the PGA for his opinion on the latest defection.

I’m disappointed that Brooks Koepka has left and joined the LIV Golf Series. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it,” Monahan said shortly after being informed about Koepka’s decision.

LIV Golf Series threat

Monahan explained that what is important to him and the PGA Tour is the integrity and growth of the game in contrast to what the LIV Series has demonstrated so far. “But when someone attempts to buy the sport, dismantle the institutions that are intrinsically invested in its growth, and focus only on a personal priority, that partnership evaporates, and instead we end up with one person, one entity, using endless amounts of money to direct employees, not members or partners, toward their personal goal, which may or may not change tomorrow or the next day. I doubt that’s the vision any of us have for the game,” he said.

“Significant changes” on the way

After meeting with players and stakeholders on Tuesday before the start of the Travelers Championship, Monahan laid out the PGA’s new strategy to improve conditions for players. One of those measures will take place next year when the FedEx Cup playoffs field will be reduced to 70 players and the calendar of tournaments will be from January to August. There will be a series of fall events and three international tournaments for the top 50 players in the FedEx rankings. “We were planning on raising purses to these events in the future,’’ Monahan said. “We are responding to the current environment that we are in.’’

PGA players surprised Koepka and others have left

Rory McIlory has been outspoken over the last month about the LIV Series and was clear about his view on the players who have left the PGA. “I think that’s why I’m surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another, and I don’t understand that and I don’t know if that’s for legal reasons,’’ the Northern Irishman said.

The world no. 1, Scottie Scheffler, expressed his disbelief about Koepka defecting to the LIV Golf Series. “That was definitely a surprise for me. I was at a function with him last week and definitely wasn’t what he had in mind. We were focused on building the PGA Tour and getting the guys that are staying here together and kind of just having talks and figuring out how we can help benefit the Tour. So to see Brooks leave was definitely a surprise for us,” he said.

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