Korn Ferry Graduates Hail PGA Tour Announcement

A guaranteed $500,000 has put a whole new shine on preparations for promotion to the big time

Taylor Montgomery received a $500,000 boost to his preparations to join the PGA Tour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While all the headlines after yesterday’s PGA Tour press conference were about golf’s superstars committing to playing more together with an extra $46million in prize money being confirmed, those preparing for their first season with the big boys also hit the jackpot.

The creation of the Earnings Assurance Program, guaranteeing those participating in at least 15 events earnings of no less than $500,000, means that players getting ready for their move to the PGA Tour are now about to get an unexpected windfall. The money will be paid up front for those promoted to the Tour, and while it’s a guarantee rather than a bonus, so any prize money won will be paid back against it, the payment could be a game changer for many.

Taylor Montgomery could be forgiven for thinking he was cursed, having twice missed out on promotion from the Korn Ferry Tour by one spot, but having finished fifth in the regular season this time around to guarantee a PGA Tour card, the announcement by commissioner Jay Monahan that he will be advanced $500,000 was music to his ears.

He told Golf Digest: “It’s crazy. It’s been a crazy day. I think the thing about it is maybe that little bit of security early on, knowing you can take care of your expenses. If you struggle early getting your feet under you, there’s no reason to panic. I know myself, it won't change what I'm doing. I'm not going to fly private when some guys might. I think this just puts us a little more in line with other pro sports.”

Fellow rookie in waiting  Brandon Matthews was more pragmatic, explaining that while it’s a ‘fantastic thing’, PGA Tour players should be aiming to win at least that even in their first season. “It’s a great time to be a rookie on the PGA Tour no matter what, even before this was announced,” he told Golf Digest

“But that $500,000, the way it’s structured, it’s nice. It’s a fantastic thing that they’re doing and should have done a while ago. But look, if you believe in yourself to excel out there, that isn’t really going to matter anyway.”

Tyson Alexander, who will be following in the footsteps of his grandfather Skip when he makes his PGA Tour debut next season, is in little doubt what prompted the PGA Tour’s latest actions, which will benefit him and his fellow rookies. He told Golf Digest: “With what’s happening with the LIV tour, I think the PGA Tour had to take a look in the mirror and maybe take care of us if we reached that level.” 

The guaranteed $500,000 has added extra spice to the remaining events on this year’s Korn Ferry Tour, this week’s Nationwide Children’s Championship and the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Not only will the remaining PGA Tour cards be up for grabs, but those that grab them will be halfway to millionaire status before they’ve even teed a ball up on Tour.

Jeff Kimber
Freelance Staff Writer

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!