Australian golf fans will wait to see whether the country is included in the PGA Tour’s plans to take several big-money tournaments overseas next year in a bid to combat the growing LIV Golf Series.
On Tuesday, Golf Digest‘s Daniel Rapaport reported the PGA Tour will soon unveil a series of eight tournaments taking place late next year, featuring purses of at least $US20 million as well as limited fields and no-cut.
The top 50 finishers from the prior season’s FedEx Cup standings will be eligible for those events. Several of the lucrative events will be held in the thick of the PGA Tour season while the remainder will happen during the PGA Tour’s ‘fall series’ between September and November.
Sources present during a mandatory players’ meeting on Tuesday at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut told New Zealand Golf Digest that at least three of the eight events would be held overseas – in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The sources said one option being explored was rotating the Asia event around Australasia and that Australia would be on the rota.
The PGA Tour’s schedule in 2023 was a topic discussed during an emergency meeting attended by players and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut on Tuesday.
Monahan addressed the threat of LIV Golf – a new rival tour made up of eight 54-hole tournaments each worth $US25 million. LIV Golf is led by Greg Norman and financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. LIV Golf recently had its debut event in London and is readying to host its first event in the US at Pumpkin Ridge in Oregon.
The PGA Tour’s policy board was scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon ahead of Monahan holding a press conference from the Travelers Championship on Wednesday at 1pm (1am Thursday NZST).
The news comes after New Zealand Golf Digest reported last week that Australia is rumoured to be in line for an LIV Golf tournament when the series is expanded from eight to 14 tournaments for its second season. Sources said a representative would travel to Australia towards the end of 2022 to evaluate potential venues for an event in Melbourne.
I’m hearing a representative is set to visit Australia towards the end of the year to assess venues in Melbourne https://t.co/z6K0TiKgWx
— Evin Priest (@EvinPriest) June 14, 2022
When LIV Golf first announced Norman as its chief executive, many hoped he would help Australia land a star-studded global tournament.
Cameron Smith told New Zealand Golf Digest last week he felt the PGA Tour should have an annual tournament in Australia and hoped that was a byproduct of the current divide in professional golf. With LIV Golf no doubt wanting to spread its reach globally, the PGA Tour could make a strategic move and stage a regular event Down Under.
“It would be nice if our region was looked after in all of this,” Smith said at the US Open last week. “I think the (2019) Presidents Cup was a great spectacle in Melbourne and I think Aussies want that level of golf more often. Hopefully something happens (in that regard).”
The European Tour, which is now called the DP World Tour and is engaged in a strategic alliance with the PGA Tour, announced it would co-sanction the Australian Open this year. The DP World Tour already co-sanctions the Australian PGA Championship.