Speaking in an exclusive with Sky Sports, PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, believes that “We’ve (the PGA Tour) struck a nice balance of keeping the same number of designated events, strengthening our entire season, and raising the competitive bar out here for every single player on the PGA Tour.”
At the beginning of March, the Designated Event Model was introduced with select designated events offering reduced fields of between 70 to 80 players with no cut. This has caused a huge stir with fellow professionals and even caused one pro to state “our opinion didn’t matter.”
It’s not just fans who are confused by the changes but, according to Monahan, “the fans have responded very favorably to it and our sponsors are certainly excited by it. Any time you make changes you’re certainly going to have critics, and we understand that.”
He went on to add: “If you look where we were in the summer last year, where a lot of people had a lot of questions about the designated events. Now, almost every single Saturday and Sunday we’ve had an unbelievable and at times dizzying leaderboard, with players having a chance to win.
“That’s what I’m most excited about – the competitive fabric of it. The best players in the world want to play together more often, they want to beat each other, and every player has the ability and the opportunity – based on performance – to compete.”
Recently, Eddie Pepperell stated that those who don’t qualify for the new designated events on the PGA Tour ‘will likely give LIV more consideration’. This is due to the fact that those who do not finish inside the top 50 of the FedEx Cup will not qualify for the high-purse designated events.
However, Monahan reiterated the point that: “If I’m a fan of the PGA Tour, I know at the beginning of the year where the top players are going to be playing over the course of the year and I know that I’m seeing more of that than I’ve ever seen before.”
The PGA Tour Commissioner also claimed that “it’s really important to stress the only way you’re playing in the designated events is by your performance and you’ve got to be top 50 the previous year or the hottest player the current year.
“That doesn’t, in any way, take away from all of our events because, by having these fields limited, then the strength across the schedule, the storylines that develop and the stars that will come forward will continue in some really inspiring ways .”