PGA Tour players and officials discussed a number of topics regarding the tour’s future in a mandatory players meeting on Wednesday (AEDT) ahead of the Honda Classic at PGA National.
According to a player in attendance, commissioner Jay Monahan spent roughly the first 10 minutes discussing the rumoured Saudi-backed golf league. In addition to reiterating the position that anyone who signs with the league would not be welcomed back to the tour, Monahan continued to portray the upstart circuit as being focused just about money.
“He basically was talking like it’s not going to happen, and that it’s time to move on and stop talking about it,” the source said.
After Monahan spoke, other senior tour officials were made available for a question-and-answer session. Topics discussed included potential changes to the fall schedule, which could be put in place for 2023.
One proposal, initially laid out at last week’s Player Advisory Council meeting in Los Angeles, would feature a series of events played internationally that would include the top 50 finishers in the prior season’s FedEx Cup. Simultaneously, players outside the top 50 would be able to play in a separate group of tournaments, but these events would not count towards the following year’s FedEx Cup points race.
Driving the conversation regarding a restructured fall schedule is the desire among top players to have a more defined offseason. The source said that the rank-and-file players generally agreed that golfers need a more extended break, and that separating any fall events from counting towards the FedEx Cup would allow players greater flexibility with setting their schedules.
“After Patrick Cantlay won the FedEx Cup, he and Xander Schauffele went to Napa just for fun – not to play in the tour event there,” the source said. “Those are not good optics. Guys should want to play in tour events.”
A common theme throughout the meeting was players expressing their desire for more transparency as far as the tour’s financials and dealings. Players were told that purses will continue to rise – the Players Championship will likely rise from $US20 million to $25 million by 2025 – and that they should expect Major championships to keep pace with the Players’ purse increases.
The upcoming Netflix documentary series was also brought up, with a number of players expressing concern over who and what will be shown. Players were told that they would not be recorded without their consent and that the tour plans to send a memo to players laying out guidelines for how the show will proceed.
Tour officials also told players that the results of the controversial Player Impact Program are close to being finalised.
One topic that was not discussed was the statement from Phil Mickelson in which he apologised for his Saudi golf league comments published last Thursday. The statement was released during the meeting. A question about it was asked to officials, but they had not seen Mickelson’s statement and thus did not comment. The source said that once the question was asked, players immediately took to social media to read the six-paragraph statement.
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