WM Phoenix Open, three more ‘high’ events in 2023

The PGA Tour is set to announce four more high-status tournaments for 2023, Golf Week Learn. The additions to 13 will raise the total number of round events categorized as “high,” meaning that the game’s biggest stars will be guaranteed as they compete for lucrative portfolios of at least $20 million. The tour plans to communicate event details to players later this week.

In August, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan Announced the first nine high events for the 2022-2023 season. That was the players’ championship. Three FedEx Cup playoffs (FedEx St. Jude Championship, BMW Championship and Tour Championship); The Three Convocations (Genesis, Arnold Palmer, Memorial); the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play; and the Sentry Championships.

The four additional championships to be lifted this season are the WM Phoenix Open, the RBC Heritage, the Wells Fargo Championship and the Travelers Championship, according to five sources familiar with the discussions. Several sources said that the round is still in the process of finalizing negotiations with the events. A PGA Tour spokesperson declined to confirm details or comment on potential announcements.

While the previously announced nine events will enjoy high profile each year, the four events revealed this week are expected to alternate between tournaments each season, ensuring that every sponsor interested in paying for a high profile will ensure the best possible field each season. a few years.

“High events will not be the same in 2024,” said a person briefed on the plan. “These events worked according to a schedule that had already been announced.”

The creation of the PGA Tour for the elite level of events is a direct response to the threat posed by LIV Golf, the Saudi-funded series that has attracted a number of high-profile players to compete for guaranteed money in 48 men events. Monahan outlined the Tour’s plan for the Tour that ends the season in August, but the vision was born from a meeting of select players earlier that month in Delaware, organized by Tour loyalists Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

Players in attendance—the invitations are limited to the Tour’s top stars—have broadly agreed to commit to playing each elevated event, giving the Tour the ability to ensure where its biggest draws will appear. This was not possible before because members are independent contractors who control their own schedules. To date, 20 of the top 21 players in the official world golf rankings have remained on the PGA Tour.

Between the 13-stop PGA Tour high and the Grand Slam, top golf stars will compete against each other at least 17 times per season, a significant increase in the number of times they currently face off in the same tournaments. Under the plan announced by Monahan, players are also required to enter three not-so-highlights events on the PGA Tour each season, ensuring that these tournaments can still attract superstars who need to live up to their commitments.

This 20-event commitment caused anxiety among some stars. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed,” said world number five John Ram, who has expressed reservations about his ability to continue supporting events in his home country of Europe.

The announcement of the newly lifted four slams is likely to inspire more grumbling because two of them are taking place immediately after the major slams. The RBC Heritage is right after the Masters, although it’s less than a three-hour drive from Augusta to the RBC venue in Hilton Head. However, the Travelers Championships in Cromwell, Connecticut, takes place the week after the US Open, which will be held on the West Coast next year at the Los Angeles Country Club.

The high-events schedule in 2023 will see top players meet largely outside of the majors: once in January (Sentry), twice in February (WM Phoenix Open, Genesis), and three times in March (Arnold Palmer, Players, and Match Play) , once in April (RBC Heritage) and May (Wells Fargo), twice in June (Memorial, Traveler) and three times in August in FedEx Cup qualifiers.

Sources indicated that no decision has been made on which events will have a high profile on the PGA Tour schedule in 2024, when the tour returns to a regular season of the calendar year, or whether field sizes for those tournaments can be adjusted after next year.

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