PGA Tour Unveils Huge Prize Money Increases Amid LIV Golf Threat

Some big changes are proposed, including eye-catching purse increases at eight tournaments

Jay Monahan speaks in a press conference before the 2022 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has sent a letter to PGA Tour members outlining wide-ranging changes including some huge prize money increases. 

The move will be seen as an attempt to offset the threat of the LIV Golf Invitational Series in a week where two more high-profile players – Abraham Ancer and Brooks Koepka – have opted to join the Saudi-backed start-up.

One of the most eye-catching pledges will see a significant increase in purse sizes for eight events in 2023. The Sentry Tournament of Champions will have a purse of $15m (up from $8.2m), while The Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial Tournament and WGC-Match Play will have $20m purses rather than the $12m on offer in each this year. Elsewhere, the FedEx St Jude Championship will also have a $20m purse, which is an increase of $5m from this year’s $15m purse. Finally, the purse of the Players Championship, which is this year’s most lucrative PGA Tour event, increases from $20m to $25m.

As well as the added financial incentives, there are other proposals on the table, including a return to a calendar-year schedule with the FedExCup contested between January and August. Also, from 2023, there will be changes to qualification for the FedExCup Playoffs, with the top 70 players qualifying for the FedEx St Jude Invitational (rather than from the top 125 in recent years). Those players will also be fully exempt for the following season, including invitationals. Meanwhile, the top 50 will gain entry to the BMW Championship, while the top 30 will qualify for the Tour Championship. 

There is also a proposal to create up to three international events to take place at the end of the fall schedule featuring the top 50 from the final FedExCup Points list and the best players in the fall. Others will qualify based on criteria yet to be determined. While the format of those events is still being worked on, interestingly, they will have a limited field, no cut format, which is similar to the LIV Golf Invitational Series format. Finally, the remaining players will battle for FedExCup points to remain in the top 125 the following year in other tournaments described as “a compelling, consequential final stretch.”

The first full year of the system will be 2024, but to ensure a smooth transition, the 2022/23 season begins with the fall events in 2022 and continues through the FedExPoints Playoffs in 2023.

The PGA Tour clearly sees the Greg Norman-fronted start-up as a threat. As such, it will surely be hoping that the increased purses alone are enough to persuade others to think twice before defecting. Still, with only one tournament - The Players Championship - offering as much prize money as any of the tournaments in the Series, it remains to be seen if the increases go far enough. 

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. 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.