Last year, the PGA Tour introduced the controversial Player Impact Program (PIP), offering financial rewards to the top 10 players who drive fan and sponsor engagement. It was seen by many as a way to reward the most popular players on tour amidst the ongoing speculation of a Saudi-backed league attempting to poach the world’s leading stars. Whilst the results were intended to be kept private, Phil Mickelson revealed that he topped the list and pocketed a sum of $8m.
This year, the PGA Tour increased the overall fund of the PIP to $50 million and introduced the Play-15 scheme, where any member who competes in at least 15 tournaments receives a $50,000 performance bonus. Whilst the game is becoming more and more lucrative for those at the top, it seems not everyone is keen on the idea.
World No.2, Collin Morikawa, spoke ahead of the Genesis Invitational in his home city of Los Angeles, and said, “What's the pool this year, $50 million? I mean, that's crazy to me. $50 million to the top-10 players that can impact this game. Yeah, I think there's probably better routes, other things. I mean, I think we're getting paid $50,000 for the year if we play 15 tournaments. I mean, that's $10 million right there. I think there's other ways to put that $60 million into”.
Morikawa, who made his PGA Tour debut in 2019, added, “I really don't know other ways we can do it, but there's got to be something. To pay out that amount is pretty crazy”.
The American has not only emerged as one of the best players in the world today, but in the history of the game. The 25-year old turned professional in 2019 and opened his PGA Tour career with 22 consecutive made cuts, something only bettered by Tiger Woods.
He has five PGA Tour wins to his name already, including the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 Open Championship, winning both on his debut. He is also the only American to have won the Race to Dubai title on the European Tour (now DP World Tour).
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James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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