Pebble Beach Pro-Am To Be Elevated In 2024 - Jack Nicklaus
The 18-time Major winner says changes to the schedule will ensure a stronger field for the Honda Classic
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Jack Nicklaus has hinted at planned changes to the PGA Tour schedule for 2024, with the Pebble Beach Pro-Am apparently set for elevated status.
Nicklaus made the comment at the Honda Classic, which had a relatively weak field this year, with only three of the world’s top 20 opting to play. That was partly down to the two elevated events coming immediately before the PGA National tournament.
The WM Phoenix Open and Genesis invitational were given elevated status by the PGA Tour, meaning, as well as a $20m purse, each was guaranteed most of the world’s best players. However, Nicklaus said that will change for next year, with the Pebble Beach Pro-Am benefitting at the expense of the WM Phoenix Open.
He said: “Next year’s schedule are Pebble and LA [the Genesis Invitational] - are their elevated tournaments. Phoenix is not. Then they go to Mexico, then they come here. So, we will have players next year. And then they’ve got Bay Hill and Players. The tournament’s going to be just fine.”
The Pebble Beach Pro-Am falls a week earlier than the WM Phoenix Open, meaning there will be a break between elevated events in the weeks leading up to the Florida tournament. Not only that, but the introduction of a tournament in Mexico after the Genesis Invitational would ensure even more breathing space for the Honda Classic, which will have a new sponsor next year after the motor company’s decision to bow out after 42-years.
As well as the two big tournaments before the Honda Classic this year, it also had to contend with two more coming straight after it, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship, which led to most top players opting to skip the event, continuing a trend of recent years.
Nicklaus lives close to PGA National and has a charitable association with the tournament, but he explained that, despite its weaker fields in recent years, he will never try to persuade players to compete in the event. He said: “I don’t do that. I don’t do it for the Memorial Tournament. I don’t do it for any tournament. I didn’t like when people did it to me. If you’re going to play, you’re going to play. If you’re not going to play, you’re not going to play.”
If Nicklaus is correct and the Pebble Beach-Pro Am is given elevated status in 2024, not only is it likely to benefit a tournament close to his heart, but a top-quality field will also be guaranteed to tee it up alongside celebrities in the famous Californian event.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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