The PGA Tour’s 2024 schedule is currently in the works and the evolution of this season’s elevated events will make an appearance.
With the changes already being set of going back to a calendar-year schedule with the first event taking place in January rather than September, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and the Tour’s policy board announced more changes to the slate of tournaments for next season.
There will be eight designated events that only have fields of 70-80 golfers competing for elevated purses and higher amounts of FedEx Cup points. As a result, these events will not have a 36-hole cut, ensuring that the best competition takes place throughout all four rounds.
These eight designated events are in addition to the four major tournaments, The Players Championship and the three FedEx Cup Playoff events. In addition, the only other four-round event on the PGA Tour without a cut is the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which will now also include the top 50 players the previous years’ FedEx Cup standings who will not already be eligible.
“I think it makes the Tour more competitive,” Rory McIlroy said Wednesday of the designated events. “I’m all about rewarding good play. I want to give everyone a fair shake at this, which I think the structure has done. There’s ways to play into it, it’s trying to the top guys versus the hot guys.”
The eight events as to which will be determined a designated event will be announced at a later date.
In addition, to prevent any isolated weeks, there will be both designated events and full-field events, similar to this week on the PGA Tour with the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Puerto Rico Open both going on simultaneously to be able to meet up to level of competition standards and reach for players and fans alike.
One of things that is different about next season’s designated events compared to this season’s elevated events is that the 2024 designated events will not be mandatory if a player has made it inside the top 20 of the Player Impact Program.
Besides Tiger Woods, every player who earned themselves into the 2022 Player Impact Program could only miss one of the elevated events this season.
The PGA Tour is focused more on incentivizing its players that they will play all four rounds of a tournament compared to only having their presence, especially if they miss a cut at an elevated event this year, like Matt Fitzpatrick and Jordan Spieth both missing the cut at The Genesis Invitational.
Eligibility for the PGA Tour’s Designated events
The details are still coming together, but the following is a framework to be eligible for the designated events:
- The top 50 players from the previous year’s Fed Ex Cup standings through the FedEx Cup playoffs
- The top 10 players, not otherwise eligible from the current year’s FedEx Cup standings (using the previous year’s FedEx Cup standings through the conclusion of the fall events for any early season events)
- The top 5 players, not otherwise eligible, earning the most FedEx Cup points through each “collection” of standard events (such as between each designated event)
- Current year tournament winners, not otherwise eligible, of full FedEx Cup point events prior to the Designated event
- PGA Tour members among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking
- Four sponsor exemptions restricted to PGA Tour members.
Scottie Scheffler kindled the same message as McIlroy, but also mentioned how the chances of winning increase entering the first round of a tournament with 70-80 players compared to something about twice as that.
“I think the PGA Tour is doing a good job of creating an aspirational set of events,” Scheffler said. “I think it’s something that players will really strive for out here on Tour and so being able to get into that top 50 for next year is going to be huge for guys.
“You’re going to be able to play in those events and it’s no secret out here that events with less guys are probably a little bit easier on you, whether it be playing a practice round or getting guys around for four days. It doesn’t have the same wear and tear as a 156-man major field does.”
With the way the FedEx Cup playoff fields are set for this year – 70 for the FedEx St. Jude Championship, 50 for the BMW Championship and 30 for the Tour Championship – as long as a player is within the top 50 of the FedEx Cup Standings and is playing the second to final tournament, that player qualifies for the Designated events.
Bottom line, no matter if a player is nowhere the top 50 or competing at the Designated events next year, Scheffler said the schedule will benefit every PGA Tour player.
“I mean, sizes for the other events are not going down, the field sizes are staying the same for those and I think it’s a better model overall for the Tour to have a set of events that are aspirational and that give guys access to those events,” Scheffler said. “I mean, if you earn your way into those events, the top 50 in the FedEx Cup this year gets into all of them.