Top players may skip one elevated PGA Tour event this season as their calendar has more events in a tighter period. How that will plays out will be interesting.
The PGA Tour’s plan to have 12 elevated events for top players in addition to the four major championships, the Players Championship and three more of their choosing has already seen a change.
The Associated Press reported that the PGA Tour Policy Board has voted in favor of allowing players to skip one event outside of the majors for personal or professional reasons. The PGA Tour confirmed this opt-out. The board is also allowing players to count a fall event as one of the three additional tournaments, although that aspect won’t be available in 2024 when a condensed schedule will feature January-to-August play.
When commissioner Jay Monahan announced the plan that would bring the best players together more often—in return, that is how they qualify for the season-ending Player Impact Program and $100 million on bonus money—there was bound to be some fallout.
Part of it is simply scheduling, which will become easier in 2024 when the Tour can move events around a bit more. The 2023 schedule was already set and the PGA Tour had to work within that framework to find for more elevated tournaments.
Among the issues players will face in 2023 are seven events in 10 weeks, starting with the WM Phoenix Open and concluding with the RBC Heritage. Among the elevated events in that stretch are the Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players Championship, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the Masters.
It's a lot of golf, but now a player has the option to skip one. Or he could skip the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Or elect not to play the Travelers the week following the U.S. Open.
Where a problem exists is if too many players choose the same place to skip. Or perhaps it won’t happen at all. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see it all play out as the best players come together more often.