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McEwan: Is the PGA Tour destroying The PLAYERS to…

McEwan: Is the PGA Tour destroying The PLAYERS to…

Beyond resolutions and reflection, a new year brings fresh opportunities and the promise of fascinating events to come.  

Men’s professional golf has an abundance of storylines waited to be cued in 2023 – none more so than the latest round of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf’s battle for supremacy. 

LIV’s emergence in 2022 disrupted the sport on a scale few can recall. Depending on your perspective, it’s either the best thing to happen to golf in a generation or a shameless attempt at sportswashing.  

There’s no mistaking which of those two camps the PGA Tour sits in. No longer the game’s most lucrative circuit, how 2023 plays out for the Ponte Vedra Beach-based body is sure to be fascinating.  

LIV compelled Jay Monahan and Co. to expedite a raft of structural changes they might otherwise have resisted or, at the very least, deferred a while longer. Twelve events have been given ‘Elevated’ status and average purses of at least $20million; there’s a new ‘Earnings Assurance Program’; stipends have been introduced for not fully-exempt players who miss the cut in tour events; the Player Impact Program has been expanded to 20 players with the pot doubled to $100million. And that’s just the start.  

Bottom line: the PGA Tour is attempting to solve its biggest existential crisis by throwing more money at the problem. This, despite Monahan previously acknowledging his organisation can’t compete with its Saudi-funded opponent in an ‘arms race of dollar bills’. 


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