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PGA Tour announces sweeping changes, including guaranteed money, elevated events

In the wake of last week’s players-only meeting, the PGA Tour has responded with a sweeping overhaul of its schedule and how players are compensated.

Commissioner Jay Monahan announced that 12 events will be moved to “elevated” status, starting with the 2022-23 season, with an additional four tournaments set to join that level. These events will have an average purse of $20 million.

The changes require top players, as defined by the revised Player Impact Program (PIP), to play at least 20 events a season. Previously, the Tour required players to participate in at least 15 events a season.

The elevated events for the 2022-23 season, in addition to the four majors, are The Players, three FedExCup Playoff events, Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC-Dell Match Play and Sentry Tournament of Champions. Four more elevated events will be announced in the next two months.

The top PIP players will also be required to play three additional FedExCup events that are not included in the elevated series.

The Tour also announced an expansion of the PIP to the top 20 with a bonus pool of $100 million, up from $50 million. The circuit also revealed it has removed the Q-Score and social media metrics from the PIP calculation and, instead, added an “awareness criteria.” The new PIP criteria will be internet searches, general awareness, golf fan awareness, media mentions and broadcast exposure.

The Tour will also add an earnings assurance program, which guarantees players at the Korn Ferry Tour priority category and above will earn at least $500,000, with the circuit funding any gap in earnings at the end of the season. Rookies and other players earning their way onto the PGA Tour will have the option to receive an upfront payment. The Tour will also start a travel stipend program, giving $5,000 to each player for every missed cut for non-exempt members (126-150 category and below).

The earnings assurance and travel stipend programs will replace the Play15 program.

Starting this season, qualifying for the season-ending Tour Championship will provide a two-season Tour exemption. This is not in addition to a winner’s exemption, but will impact players who don’t have any additional status in the second year following his qualification to the final.

“To now have our top players rallied around this organization,” Monahan said, “I think our fans, partners and players are going to love it.”