Billy Horschel has strong opinions about how to make the PGA Tour more competitive and compelling — instead of adding more invitational-style events in the fall, he says the Tour should reduce the number of available Tour cards to reward great play, not mediocrity.
“I think, in my mind, we should make the Tour more competitive,” Horschel said before the start of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the season’s final event of the European Tour. “Maybe instead of giving out 125 cards every year, we cut it down to 100. And we cut down the Korn Ferry Tour cards from 50 to 30.
“Now you’re getting the better players week in and week out. Guys are sort of happy just finishing 90th on the PGA Tour every year and collecting a million-plus dollars, and (they should be) actually striving to be the best players on the PGA Tour.”
Horschel, a member of the Tour’s Player Advisory Council, also thinks the Tour should change its payout structure for events.
“Where the top 30, 40 guys get paid a lot of money, and then you don’t get paid as much down below, it really pushes guys to do everything they can to be the best player they can be, he said. “By doing that, I think that takes care of any other Tour that comes competing against the PGA Tour or the European Tour.
“I think we’re doing great stuff, but I think we need to make sure that we’re looking at all the scenarios before we make an ultimate decision on the path forward.”
Horschel, who said many players on the Tour share his opinions, spoke out against “handouts” — through appearance fees or the Player Impact Program.
“It does sound harsh,” he said. “It sounds like I’m trying to maybe attack the lower guys, or the guys that are lower on either Tour, but I’m not. All I’m saying is: Are you doing everything you can to be the best player you can? And if you are, then maybe we need to look at something. If you aren’t, we shouldn’t just be giving you handouts because you got your PGA Tour card and you’re not making as much as some other guys.
“We’re fortunate that the top guys over the generations have brought all this money into the PGA Tour, and they’ve been rewarded because of the top play. But we reward for top play, for playing great golf, not for mediocrity.”
–Field Level Media